My First Kitten, by by Dr. Lisa Chimes/Illustrated by Tina Burke, (2016, Kane Miller), $9.99, ISBN: 978-1610675178
Recommended for ages 4-8
Getting a pet is so exciting! Most kids love the soft purr of a new kitten, or the excited kisses from a new puppy, and this new picture book duo, written by veterinarian, Dr. Lisa Chimes, is great for younger kids – and their parents – who are about to embark on pet parenthood.
My First Puppy and My First Kitten follow two kids – Sam and Fran – as they adopt their new pets. Each family takes this very seriously, looking into what breeds of dogs and cats would fit well with their respective families; what each pet needs when they first join the family (bowls for food and water, places to sleep, toys); and the importance of veterinary care, including great checklists of things to watch out for or talk to your vet about during a routine pet checkup.
What I love most about the My First books? Dr. Chimes having her characters explore shelters and veterinarian offices for pets that need homes, rather than having the families to buy a cat or dog at a pet store. I loved that she drew attention to these great options, where families can find their newest member and really provide a loving home to a pet who needs it.
The art is sweet and loving, realistically rendered and brightly colored to attract a reader’s attention. Each cover stars the adopted pet and its loving new human on the cover, with little paw prints set into the background. While most of my pet books tend to run a little older, a good picture book series like this (will we be getting books for fish, birds, and lizards, too?) is great for my younger readers. Encourage families to read this one together, and pair it with books like Dr. Seuss’ What Pet Should I Get?, Mo Willems’ The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!, and Alexandra Day’s Carl series. I also love Emma Jackson’s A Home for Dixie, the true story of a rescue dog.