Title: My First Kitten
Author: Dr. Lisa Chimes
Classification: Fiction with a moral / Informational
Themes: animals, responsibility
What’s it about?
This is a story about a young girl called Fran who really wants a kitten. Before her mum will buy her one though she tells her she needs to learn about cats and their different needs. She gets her kitten and then learns more about what they need emotionally and physically as her new kitten gets up to mischief.
Lovely illustrations! Just had to say that because the kitten is so cute! Embrace the fact that Fran doesn’t just get a kitten because she wants one. I like how the story encourages her to go and find out more about cats through the local library and research. Another plus is that it looks at what the kitten needs as opposed to what Fran wants.
It has a lot of words for the target audience which I consider to be about age 7-9 years and is consequently a fairly long story.
Would you believe I bought this book new at Target for just $10! I saw the cover (with the exceptionally cute kitten by illustrated Tina Burke) and had to look at the book. It states “By Bondi Vet’s Dr Lisa Chimes” so I am guessing she has something to do with the TV show? I can’t say for sure as I don’t receive commercial TV – or any TV. At least you know this is based on my opinion of the book and not any celebrity status the author may have!
This is a fantastic book on many levels. Too often I see books about kids wanting to get a pet and they get one – without knowing fully what they are getting into. We have far too many kittens and cats that get abandoned, either on the side of the road or at animal shelters, because they outgrow the ‘cute’ stage or were bought on impulse. This story really puts the responsibility back to the parent – to say “Let’s learn more first” and the child being willing to do so.
The presentation of certain pages is very fun – such as when Fran makes a list of what the kitten will need – it looks like a list on a piece of paper. Just like when Fran and her mum are looking at the pictures of cat breeds – it looks like a page from an information book. In addition to the story are little side notes about what the kitten needs and I really like that. It is similar to having sticky notes you can go back and review with you students or child. It also deals with the responsibility of taking the kitten to the vet (just for the first check-up) but it is an important step. I would have liked for the neutering to be addressed, too – but I think the book had a lot crammed in as it was.
Perhaps is Dr Lisa Chimes reads this she could consider a sequel where Pumpkin (the kitten) goes back to the vet for neutering and why that is an important part of responsible ownership.
I’m keeping this book for when my kids decide they want a kitten!
Get to know the author
I couldn’t find a website for Dr Lisa Chimes as an author but you might want to check out her profile on the Small Animal Specialist Hospital website. Click her photo below.