Losers Weepers! Three Little Kittens by Jerry Pinkney
THREE LITTLE KITTENS
THEY GOT NEW MITTENS
AND THEY BEGAN TO CHEER,
OH, MOTHER DEAR, OH MOTHER DEAR,
MAY WE GO OUT TO PLAY?"
Artist Jerry Pinkney, five time Caldecott Honor winner, recently for his fabulous (in more ways than one) The Lion & the Mouse, sets out again to take a piece of venerable folklore and make it into a memorable picture book experience for modern kids. Pinkney sticks close to the traditional rhymes for his story line, concentrating on picturing the kittens both endearingly and realistically.
"OH, MOTHER DEAR, WE SADLY FEAR
OUR MITTENS WE HAVE LOST."
"WHAT? LOST YOUR MITTENS?
YOU CARELESS KITTENS!
THEN YOU SHALL HAVE NO PIE."
The little kittens, true to the traditional form, lose their mittens and find them, make a mess of their mittens with the pie filling and duly wash them, all to get back into their exasperated but patient mother's good graces in time to go back out to play, and we might guess, misplace their mittens yet again.
Pinkney's illustrations linger lovingly over the kitties' luxuriantly variegated fur, its texture tactually rendered in luscious pastel watercolors. Pinkney humorously hides the misplaced mittens in the autumn leaves that litter their playground, and in the closing slyly shows one kitten's new knitted cap already lost in the leaves again, thereby hiding a bit of visual fun for young readers here and there.
Three Little Kittens (Dial Books, 2010) is a vivacious fall-flavored addition to every nursery rhyme shelf. As School Library Journal says, "This is another superb entry in the artist's catalog of classics for a new generation."