Our New Kittens

illus. by Alice Carter. 24p. Pajama Pr. Nov. 2018. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781772780604.
PreS-K—This is a spare story about two brothers and their first experience owning kittens. The front endpapers give useful tips for "Before you bring your pet home…" presented as if handwritten on a notebook page, and the back endpapers conclude with more tips. The text is uneven. It is spare enough to feel poetic yet lacks meter and rhyme. It begins with questions about naming the kittens and concludes with the names, but there is no transition or impetus for the monikers chosen. The colored pencil, watercolor, and digital art has a cartoony feel to it, and the brown-skinned boys, with their oversize round heads and curly hair are appealing. The art is visually interesting, with a nice mix of points of view, as well as full pages, spreads, and spot art to add movement and encourage page turns. The tips about pet care are useful and worthwhile; however, they feel as if they are the impetus for the story, causing it to feel forced and fall flat, preventing it from rising beyond ordinary.
VERDICT Vets might find this title to be a useful tool for parents looking to add kittens to their home, but libraries will not find it to be a necessary addition.

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