When a hidden kitten crawls out of Papa’s grocery bag, his daughter is determined to make it her own. But Papa knows they must find its real owner. The two walk around their neighborhood searching for the kitten’s home. Every door is a dead end, but each person offers something to help the kitten—a blanket, stuffed mouse, food, and a ball of yarn. Everything looks good until a boy who lost his kitten shows up. Will the kitten turn out to be his?
In this simple tale of a stray kitten and a hopeful girl, Papa inadvertently brings a tabby kitten, “softer than cotton,” into the house with the groceries, and Emilia immediately asks to keep him. But Papa maintains they ask the neighbors if they’ve lost the feline first. As the two make their way around the area, kind residents helpfully offer supplies (“how about a stuffed mouse?”). But the family returns home to ask Mama, a boy and his mother have arrived, looking for a lost kitten of their own. In a cool palette, mixed-media illustrations by Ruiz add depth to the simple story, enlivening the text with dynamic forms, intricate architecture, and interesting angles. While the tale’s climax lasts for only a moment, the narrative serves as a warm testament to community. Ages 3–7 (October 11, 2019)
When a stray kitten tumbles out of a grocery bag her father brings home, Emilia asks to keep it. However, he believes the well-fed creature might belong to a neighbor, so they put the kitten in a box and set off to make inquiries. None of the friends they visit own the little feline, though, and most give Emilia objects for the animal: a blanket, toy, and yarn. After each visit, the girl repeats her request to keep the kitten, her hopes progressively rising. But when they return home, they find Luis and his mother. Luis’s kitten is missing, so Emilia, eyes closed in her disappointment, holds the box out to him. But joy, the kitten is not his, and Emilia gets to keep it. A jumble of houses surrounds the large white outline of a kitten on the cover of this long narrow book. The mixed media illustrations within are executed in a palette consisting mostly of blue, gray, and black, except for the standout orange cat. The houses the pair visit are close together and have interesting shapes, tiles, and grill work. A large cat statue on a pedestal stands in front. There are close-ups (one shows the girl addressing her larger-than-life father), aerial views, and interesting angles. Luis is a dark-skinned boy who rejoices with white Emilia over her newfound pet. VERDICT This story is sure to appeal to animal lovers and is a great example of a child willing to give up something she wants for the sake of another. (December 01, 2019)