FICTION

Tiny Kitty, Big City

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Mar. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062414427.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 3–This imaginative and creative book pulls readers in with the undulating trail of kitten pawprints on the endpapers. A tiny kitty is alone in a very big city. How will she survive? We follow kitty during her exciting day trying to stay out of harm’s way by adjusting our focus to look near (the cat) and far (the city) as she makes her way through cavernous landscapes. In fact, the first page provides a kitten’s-level view and then pulls up and out, providing a sense of perspective and helping readers understand how these marvelous illustrations work. The use of descriptors models the importance and power of using specific words sparingly; only two words, generally, are featured on each page making this an easy-to-read choice but also encourages preliterate onlookers to examine the detailed illustrations for more clues about kitty’s plight. Kitty visits some famous sites, such as the main branch of the New York Public Library, but ends her day at Washington Square, where she sings along to a swinging trio playing at the park. There, a person, not really gendered, and with a pale skin color, finds and pets kitty. The next page shows that an entire family has welcomed the tiny kitty home. The endpapers draw this lovely journey to a close but look: is that the same child on page one who adopts her at the end?
VERDICT This clever book will appeal to all children, as adventure, beginning reader, or even as an inviting cityscape to pore over.

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