Booklist Reviews

"Following his Caldecott Medal–winning The Lion & the Mouse (2009), Pinkney presents another interpretation of a classic, in this case the familiar nursery rhyme about three naughty kittens. The text is well paced and creatively displayed: "meow" and "purr" sounds stand out in color-coded script as a cue for young ones to chant along. Practically life-size, the wide-eyed felines tumble joyously across each full-page spread, losing, finding, soiling, and cleaning their mittens. Throughout, the sense of play is fun and contagious, the threat of punishment gentle but firm, and the rhyme limited yet effective. The pencil-and-watercolor art is characteristic Pinkney and places the romp at the very beginning of mitten season with a pale autumn palette. Some of the figures and shapes lose distinction when viewed close up, but the effect is strong and appealing from a distance. A worthy companion to Paul Galdone's quintessential 1986 retelling with the same title." Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews

In this classic nursery rhyme, a mother cat threatens her three careless kittens with the loss of pie-eating privileges if they don't find their mittens. Cannily playing up the story's fundamental frivolity, Pinkney beribbons (and ultimately bemittens) the kittens and puts "mother dear" in bows. Young readers will get wrapped up in the light, relatable-to-kids dramatics. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews

An expanded version of the familiar rhyme provides an ideal opportunity for Caldecott Medalist Pinkney to create a trio of truly adorable kittens and their long-suffering mother. The author cleverly turns the tale into a circular one, eschewing any mention of a rat and ending instead with the kittens once again eager to go outside and play. Because the original features varied rhythms already, the interpolations succeed in extending the story without disrupting the traditional feel. They also improve both logic and flow, at least for modern listeners. Some readers might wonder why the kittens wear only scarves or a frilly collar with their mittens while Mother wears a long dress and even the birds sport tiny hats and scarves. But they're more likely to be distracted by how darn cute all of the characters are and, in particular, how lively and lifelike the kittens are in the lovely pencil-and-watercolor illustrations. There's also plenty of detail to pore over in the cozy, old-fashioned house and the leaf-strewn yard. An appealing update of a perennial favorite. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Media Connection

Pinkney has put his masterful brushes to work on the traditional story "The Three Little Kittens." Although this classic rhyme is simple, his artwork makes the book. Watercolor illustrations, although light, give a certain luminescence to the characters. The kitties have been given human-like expressions, though their actions are pure cat. The layout is as lovely and lavish as you'd expect from this artist. This is a must-have for cat people and Pinkney fans, and those who need an updated version of this tale. Recommended. Betsy Russell, Media Specialist, Bradley Elementary School, Columbia, South Carolina ¬ 2011 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

On the heels of his Caldecott win for The Lion & the Mouse, Pinkney offers another masterful visual interpretation of a classic narrative, albeit one with less gravitas. Wearing mittens newly knitted by their mother, the adorable and feisty kittens frolic outdoors with three birds (one sporting a woolen hat, one a striped scarf, one a shawl). Readers will delight in spotting dropped mittens among fallen leaves before the kittens announce their losses to their mother. Rendered in graphite, color pencil, and watercolor, Pinkney's sparkling-eyed young cats--in bows, bells, and lace--are almost impossibly (and perhaps overly) cuddly and precious, exuding boundless energy and capricious emotions. The author's tweaks of this rhyme lighten its tone slightly: the mother cat calls her kittens "careless" for losing their mittens and "silly" when they dirty them eating pie--never "naughty." Pinkney adds a sly final flourish: playing outside, one kitten has already dropped the knit cap that her mother has just given her. A cozy domestic drama set within a rich, autumnal wonderland that begs exploring. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews

PreS—The well-known nursery rhyme gets the Pinkney touch in this sumptuous edition. The cherubic felines on the front cover invite readers to follow their mishaps from acquiring the mittens, to losing them, to finding them, to getting them all dirty, to washing them, and—judging from the exuberance of the final spread—losing them again. Pinkney's energetic kittens need every inch of each spread to tell their story. Their mother, who has been represented in past versions as rather fearsome when the kittens confess their carelessness, is gentler here, although clearly long-suffering. Still, she has a sighing patience that children will find comforting. The ability of the youngsters to turn their carelessness into play (finding the lost mittens becomes a counting game, and they seem to have as much fun washing the pie-covered mittens as they did getting them dirty in the first place) is a hidden charm to the rhyme that is developed here; details such as a red cardinal reflected in a stray bubble escaping the washing tub has more "cheer" than "chore" in it. The palette of autumn colors is warm, despite the evidence of mittens and scarves, and the use of white space for the background makes the illustrations sparkle. This is another superb entry in the artist's catalog of classics for a new generation.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA

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