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Mama Cat Has Three Kittens

by Denise Fleming

Published by Holt, 1998
32 pages
ISBN: 0-8050-5745-5

Ages 2 - 6

Of Mama Cat's three kittens, Fluffy and Skinny always do everything their mother does -- washing their paws, sharpening their claws, chasing leaves, etc. -- while the third kitten, Boris, naps. Denise Fleming uses rhythm, repetition, and predictability to great advantage here, making each turn of the page dramatic and satisfying for young listeners. As an illustrator, Fleming uses composition in much the same way, always placing the active cats prominently in the picture, while Boris sleeps curled up, away from the action, but his bright orange color always makes him clearly visible. The art is bold enough to be seen easily from a distance for children in a storyhour, while those seeing it close-up when being read to one-on-one will notice the details of a visual subplot involving a mouse who's building a nest for her own babies. There's an amusing childlike twist at the end when Mama Cat finally settles down for a nap herself, awakening Boris, who continues to march to the beat of his own drummer. CCBC categories: Picture Books for Younger Children (KTH; Oct 5)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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