Kid Lit Dish

Kim's Magical Journey Into the World of Children's Picture Books

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Kitten’s First Full Moon

on September 7, 2012

Hooray!  Perfect Picture Book Friday is back after a summer hiatus!  What a fantastic resource this is from children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.   If you don’t know what it’s about, don’t delay– check it out now!

So my selection this week is a book I’ve found myself talking a LOT about lately–  Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes.  It’s one of those books that I bought a few years ago when Ian was toddling around… and it’s one that I pick up now and again, just because I love the illustrations and the cadence of the writing.  So here it is:

Kitten’s First Full Moon
Written and Illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Greenwillow Books, March, 2004

Suitable for: Ages 2+





Themes/Topics: Perseverance!  (This kitten ain’t stoppin’ at nothin’ to get her milk-on!)

Opening lines: 

It was Kitten’s first full moon.
When she saw it, she thought,
There’s a little bowl of milk in the sky.
And she wanted it.

{Makes my heart sing every time I read that!}

Synopsis:  Kitten is an adorable and curious little creature who desperately wants that bowl of milk in the sky.  With each attempt to get it, poor Kitten gets thwarted.  She eats bugs, falls down stairs, gets stuck in a tree, falls in a pond.  But: “Still, there was the little bowl of milk, just waiting.”

Awards:  This book won a Caldecott Medal.  Yes indeed, and deservedly so.

Why I Like This Book: I’m not sure what it is about this book that brings me back to it again and again.  Is it the fact that the kitten is just too precious (read: almost unbearably cute) for words?  Is it the brilliant, but spare prose that is at the same time rhythmic and full of emotion?  Is it the  pure black and white (and shades of gray) illustrations?  Is it the cadence that reminds me so much of Harold and the Purple Crayon?

Those who know me know I just LOVE children’s picture books (well… ALL books, really.  But if I had to live on a deserted island and could only pick ONE type of reading material to bring with me, it would be KidLit.  And I “kid” you not!)  It’s why I volunteer at Ian’s school library… why I wanted to help his teacher sort books in her classroom yesterday… why I can spend hours in a bookstore.

Anyway, I digress… what I mean to say is that Kitten’s First Full Moon is definitely one of my Top 10 favorite picture books.  I absolutely love, love, love this book!


10 responses to “Perfect Picture Book Friday: Kitten’s First Full Moon

  1. Kim, I’m so glad you’ve joined us for PPBFs! And you have chosen one of my favorite books to start off with! I love all of Kevin Henkes books, but I agree, this one has a certain special magic. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  2. This is such a beautiful book. It does bring a person back, doesn’t it. Kevin Henkes has a way of doing that!

  3. Oh, I love Kevin Henkes! Great recommendation.

  4. Kevin Henkes is one of the greats in children’s literature. Thanks for the reminder about this book!

  5. I am amazed it has taken us so long to highlight this one for PPBF! It is a classic and so deserving of the Caldecott medal! I love the innocence of this story!

  6. I love this book! 🙂 Great pick for PPBF!

  7. As soon as I see the name Kevin Henkes, I know I’m going to like the book — but how have I not heard of this one before?

    I’m wondering if a good activity would be simply to talk with kids about wanting to do things and how sometimes it seems as impossible as reaching the moon, but we need to keep trying. ?

  8. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I’m with Beth. Surprised I haven’t heard of this before. Thanks for adding it to the list. I’m always being introduced to some classic and new finds through PPBF.

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