Saturday, September 12, 2009

REVIEW: Kitten's First Full Moon

Henkes, K.  (2004).  Kitten's First Full Moon.  Greenwillow Books.


I love this book.  It is my hope that it becomes a classic (and I don't think I'm alone in that).  It captures a child's emotions, imagination and sense of wonder well.

A young kitten sees the full moon in the sky and believes it to be a bowl of milk.  She sets out farther and farther from home, trying to get a lick of the tasty milk.  Since children will have a better understanding of the moon, reflections in ponds, etc. most kids find humor in the Kitten's misunderstandings as she learns about the world.  They can also relate to the kitten's emotions of hunger and fear and the sense of security and comfort she finds in the end.

Shared in gray-scale, the illustrations are simple, but capture the kitten's emotions well--with round surprised eyes when surprise is called for.


Kitten's First Full Moon may be used as a read aloud for fun, to familiarize students with cats, the moon, the fact that objects will reflect off of still water, the need to be careful when leaving home, the sense of safety at being welcomed back, the idea of setting lofty goals for yourself and not giving up.

Many younger students are prone to pretending to be cats after a teacher shares this story with them, so said teacher should be ready to give the cild some milk in a bowl instead of a glass.

Quotes of Note:

"It was Kitten's first full moon.
When she saw it, she thought,
there's a little bowl of milk in the sky.
And she wanted it."

"So she closed her eyes
and stretched her neck
and opened her mouth and licked."

"But Kitten only ended up
with a bug on her tongue.
Poor Kitten!"

"Still, there was a little bowl of milk, just waiting."

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