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Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Littlest Christmas Kitten

The Littlest Christmas Kitten by Leona Novy Jackson and Kelly Dupre imagines what cats might dream about at Christmas. Through stunning printed illustrations and descriptive text, the authors tell a sweet story of the Holy Night through the eyes of the animals in the stable. This book is a welcome addition to our Christmas reading, and I really love the focus on the true meaning of Christmas. 

In a stable one night, the animals are all restless with anticipation. A mama cat is searching for her lost kitten and looks all throughout the stable for it. As she searches for her kitten, the cat is startled by some visitors, and then some very special events occur after the kitten is found sleeping in a manger. 

The nicest features of this book are the combination of descriptive writing and the portrayal of the story in the pictures. The story is told simply, with few lines of text on each page to hold young children's attention. However, the text is surprising in that the vocabulary isn't too simplistic, with words like, frantically, nestled, and reverence, appearing. I enjoy read alouds like this, so my children are exposed to beautiful language in a context they will understand. The soothing colors of the pages, and the printed illustrations also complement the story well, making it an all-around joy to read and share.

A special section at the end is a 3-page glossary of Christmas symbols, which explains the meaning behind traditional Christmas items like candy canes, trees, and holly. This section increases the scope of the book and gives readers more to look for in the pictures, as well as an opportunity to discuss them with children. The Littlest Christmas Kitten could easily be incorporated into a unit study about Christmas. 

My kids and I read lots of holiday books throughout November and December, and The Littlest Christmas Kitten has joined our stack of favorites.

{The publisher provided me with a review copy through Bookcrash for my honest opinions.}