Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday

The book I am featuring this week is....

Kitten's First Full Moon
by Kevin Henkes

I originally discovered this book in my Children's Lit class at MC. It is such a precious book and so much fun to read! The book is all about a kitten who mistakenly thinks a full moon is a bowl of milk and spends her night trying to get to it. She gets a bug on her tongue, falls down some stairs, and even ends up soaking wet from jumping in a lake trying to get to that "bowl of milk".

The text is really cute and sometimes, downright funny. Probably my favorite line of the whole thing is "So she pulled herself together and wiggled her bottom and sprang from the top step of the porch". I just love that Kitten had to "pull herself together" and I can't wait to teach Ann Peyton what that phrase means!

The illustrations are what makes the book what it is, though. The author/illustrator is actually best known for his books about Lilly, a delightful little girl mouse. But in this book, he takes an entirely different approach. He writes about it on his website (hopefully, he won't mind me doing a little C&Ping)...

From the very beginning I pictured the book with black-and-white illustrations, bold sans serif type, a square trim size, and soft, creamy paper. I love to use color-even bright color-in most of my picture books, but for this book color seemed unnecessary. I thought that by keeping everything as simple and spare as possible, a better, tighter, more complete book would result. I liked the idea of having a white moon, a white cat, and a white bowl of milk surrounded by the black night. When I draw, I usually use a crow-quill pen, which makes a rather thin line. This time I wanted a much thicker line, and I wanted the line to vary in thickness, so I drew with a brush-a technique I'd never used before in any of my books.

As you see, Kitten finally does find her bowl of milk and curls up to take a nap. This book one of my favorites; it received a Caldecott Medal for a reason!

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