My oldest daughter and I have been reading the advanced copies of middle grade books that I receive from Netgalley. I wanted to be able to include my twins, who are a little too young for middle grade books. So, my twins and I have been reading books from the Best Book Club Ever. You might remember these books from the late 1970s and early 1980s. They have been picking one book each night, and I have been enjoying rediscovering some childhood favorites.
Three Little Kittens is a traditional children’s nursery rhyme. This edition was illustrated by Lilian Obligado, and it was originally published in 1974.
The text closely follows the original nineteenth century nursery rhyme, with very few changes. This is the story of a trio of kittens who lose their mittens, angering their mother. They are told that they can’t have any pie, and this motivates them to look for their mittens. They find their mittens, but then get them dirty because they’re wearing them while eating pie. Will things ever go right for these three little kittens?
Lilian Obligado’s illustrations help to modernize the poem. They might be 40 years old, but they have a timeless look to them; the kittens’ room looks like a typical kids’ room. I used to be so jealous of the bunk bed with two twin beds below it when I was a kid- and that pink tricycle too! The kittens themselves are adorable- they’re wearing the cutest little coats and boots… but no pants or socks, so that’s a little strange, but doesn’t diminish the cuteness factor.
The poem ends rather abruptly, and my girls were curious about the rat that the mother cat smells (“But I smell a rat close by…Yes, I smell a rat close by.”). They wanted to check if they could see any rats hiding in the illustrations. When my girls’ beds are messy, I tell them that it looks like a rats’ nest and that a rat is going to move in with them; they thought perhaps there might be a rat hiding in the kittens’ messy room!
I would absolutely recommend Three Little Kittens. There are several versions of this poem out there, but this is our favorite. It has been out of print for years, but used copies are readily available on Amazon. If you remember Lilian Obligado’s version of Three Little Kittens, then it’s worth tracking down just for the nostalgia factor!