Kittens Under My Kitchen Sink
by Ivan Reynolds
URLink Print and Media

"Little Red is one of our favorite visitors."

Not only is a children's book about kittens healthy and adorable, it subtly teaches empathy. Even for readers who aren't cat lovers, this book is sweet and tender, and any child with a heart will be warmed by it. The author organizes the book chronologically with an accompanying photographic essay detailing how they feed stray cats and earn the cats' trust. Eventually, one feels so comfortable she decides it is safe to move in and give birth to her three wonderful kittens in the warm house. "As soon as the kittens’ eyes opened they began to explore." This one sentence tells us that the house is to become "game on" for the curious trio, but "sometimes [even] Mommy just needs a break from the rambunctious kittens."

Without saying so overtly, readers learn from the book that the writer is a caring individual, doing good and being mindful of all cat needs, gently and unobtrusively. There are many hidden lessons in this book. The author models empathy, community, and quiet activism. With precious kitten pictures on every page, the author's book ensures that no pet-loving child can resist reading it over and over again.

This is a good read-aloud book for preschoolers and kindergartners, but focused first graders will be able to read it on their own. They will also be able to relate to the kittens: "Trees are so much fun to climb. You can see the whole world from up here." After all, the adventures of "kittenhood" sometimes apply to 6-year-olds, too. With one new discovery after another, the author observes the growing kittens as they move into the entire house and near the dog, Pluto. Parents will undoubtedly want to read along with their youngsters to learn what becomes of all the feline protagonists.

Return to USR Home