Henkes, Kevin. 2004. KITTEN’S FIRST FULL MOON. New York: Greenwillow. ISBN 0060588284 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-1]
Simple and spare, this lighthearted offering is a stylistic departure for writer/illustrator Kevin Henkes. Instead of his usual colorful palette, he is working here instead in simple black and white telling the charming tale of Kitten, who is certain that the first full moon she sees is really a bowl of milk in the sky. She tries desperately to lap it up, but to no avail, even falling into the water trying to paw at its reflection. She reaches up to the sky, hoping to attain the alluring snack, only to fall tumbling to the ground. Kitten is an endearing character that children will immediately relate to and Henkes’ language is as his art, simple and careful. His gentle verse and sympathetic refrain (“Poor Kitten!”) are accessible and memorable. This is a warm, inviting tale that gives a story and a thought process to the peculiar antics of kittens everywhere who seem ready to paw at or pounce on anything. An excellent bedtime book, KITTEN’S FIRST FULL MOON is gracefully penned with sweetness and sincerity, bringing Kitten finally back home to her own real bowl of milk and children to the understanding that it is good to be home.
An art project of a diorama of a lake, the moon, a tree, etc. with aluminum foil or mirrors might show children how things are reflected in shiny objects.
Another type of art project would be an actual drawing lesson to show how to draw reflections in water puddles or lakes.
Children can also discuss and tell their own stories about their cats at home. They could make playdough figures of cats and discuss all the different types of cats.
Other books about animals portrayed in unique illustrations:
Gag, Wanda. MILLIONS OF CATS. ISBN 0698113632
Thompson, Lauren. POLAR BEAR NIGHT. ISBN 0439495245
Waddell, Martin. TINY’S BIG ADVENTURE. ISBN 0763621706
Other books by Kevin Henkes that could be compared to this one:
WEMBERLY WORRIED. ISBN 0688170277
OWEN. ISBN 0688114490
CHRYSANTHEMUM. ISBN 0688147321
By Melissa Neece