This week we've been enjoying two cat-themed books: Naughty Kitty! by Adam Stower, and No Fuzzball! by Isabella Kung. Both book are by author-illustrators and both titles are punctuated by an exclamation point, which tells me both authors know exactly what living with a cat is like...
Naughty Kitty! was released in 2014 by Orchard Books, a Scholastic imprint. This book is a sheer delight. The story centers around a young girl, Lily. Lily wants a dog, but her mother says they are too much trouble, so they get a kitten instead. After all, how much trouble can one little kitten be?
It turns out quite a lot, as Lily is led to believe that the ensuing missing food, destroyed kitchen, shredded curtains and all other manner of mischief was caused by her tiny new charge. In reality, as the reader can see, the chaos is caused by an escaped tiger who wanders in and out of the scenes.
I adore the illustrations in this book - the little hints of the escaped tiger in the newspaper in mom's bag and in the news on the TV are wonderful little details against the hints of tiger stripes creeping past windows and behind curtains. My girls love pointing at the tiger on every page and screeching in delight. If you haven't read Naughty Kitty! yet, grab it from your library, or if you're a cat person, just buy it now.
Moving on from one wrongly accused kitten to one naughty cat that know exactly what she's doing, our other book obsession this week is Isabella Kung's debut, No Fuzzball! This book was just released, also by Orchard Books. The title character of this story is a demanding fuzzy black ball of self-importance...so, an average cat really.
Fuzzball has the typical feline requests - food, petting, presents - and believes that everyone in her household exists to serve her every whim. I absolutely relate to that, given my daily 5:00AM wake-up call from my own three furry divas. But when her family goes on vacation, Fuzzball is left bewildered...how can her servants have abandoned her?
For a short time she laments their absence, then decides to be a benevolent monarch and prove her love. Of course, that is done through destroying furniture and bringing them dead mice...all signs of a cat's devotion. The twist at the end of the book and Fuzzball's confusion about her own name is particularly sweet. The illustrations are enchanting and Kung captures a wonderful range of expressions in her main character.
I have spent the last week picking up piles of blankets laid out by my 4-yr old as she "Makes them the finest beds." No Fuzzball! has become a fast favorite in this house.