Katie Loves the Kittens
Katie Loves the Kittens
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John Himmelman
ISBN 9780805086829
Henry Holt/Macmillan, 2008.
5 stars
Keywords: animals cats dogs families friendship john-himmelman katie-loves-kittens personal-space

Katie Loves the Kittens
by John Himmelman

We humans can learn a lot from animals about how to care for each other, as this picture book proves. The pup in Katie Loves the Kittens adores the trio of felines that have just joined her family, but her demonstrative ways scare them off. “Today was the most exciting day in Katie's whole life!” Her tail nearly wags off of her body as she gazes longingly at her owner Sara Ann’s armload of furry critters ("Aroooooo! Aroooooo!” she cries). Of course her howling frightens the kittens, as do her overly enthusiastic efforts to play (“Katie felt sad. She did not want to scare the kittens”). Himmelman gets the canine’s play posture and stance of defeat down precisely. And, of course, it’s just when Katie gives up and drifts off to sleep that the kittens curl up right beside (and on top of) her. All she had to do was let the kittens come to her in their own good time. For children (and even for some grown-ups!) the idea of respecting someone else's space can be a hard concept to explain, especially without making the youngster feel that they've done something wrong when all they wanted was to be friends. This humorous book passes no judgment – because dogs will be dogs, and kittens will be kittens. So it makes an ideal introduction to preschoolers and kindergartners about the importance of respecting their peers’ personal space without making the child feel bad for wanting to give someone a hug or hold someone’s hand who’s not quite ready to receive their attentions.
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