Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kitten's First Full Moon

Henkes, Kevin. 2004. Kitten's First Full Moon. Ill. by Kevin Henkes. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books. ISBN 0439800560

In this Caldecott Award winning book, Kevin Henkes describes the thoughts of a small kitten on the night of her first full moon.  The kitten believes the moon to be a big bowl of milk waiting for her in the sky.  The story tells of her attempts to get to the big bowl of milk just waiting for her.  By the end, the kitten is tired, wet and hungry and finds exactly what she was looking for at home.

Henke's writing is simple and uses repetition as a way to transition the story from one attempt to retrieve the milk to another.  The story is a wonderful example of perseverance and problem solving as the kitten never gives up and finds new ways to reach her goal. 

The illustrations are done in shades of black, white, and grey to simulate the night of the full moon.  Henke's gave the kitten multiple facial expressions in order to convey emotional responses to the series of mishaps which befall her.  Even the end papers with their repeating pattern of polka dot full moons enhance the telling of the story and show the importance of the moon and the milk it represents to the small kitten in the story.

This would be a wonderful book to introduce problem solving and perseverance to small children.  Or, taking the moon concept to the next logical step in a science lesson.

Caldecott Medal Winner
Top 100 picture book selected by School Library Journal

*Discuss how kitten went about solving her problem.  How could student's learn from her efforts?
*Read other books by Kevin Henkes
*Use the illustrations to discuss shading and perspective.
*Use as an introduction to the phases of the moon for preschool children.
*Other books for children the moon:
Carle, Eric. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. ISBN 978-0887081774
Gibbons, Gail. The Moon Book. ISBN 978-0823413645 
Marino, Gina. Meet Me at the Moon. ISBN 978-0670013135  (while this book is not specifically about the moon, it does show love and trust and would fit in with a "moon" theme) 

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