The Surprise Kitten
Josef Palecek ~ Ed Sand ~ Parents' Magazine Press, 1974
I've been thinking a lot about animals. My future zoologist/ornithologist/vet son got a peach-faced love bird for his birthday. My beloved golden, Sugar, is suffering from cancer and might not have long to live. Animalarium and Anita Silvey's dogs have both been ill, too. Really, animals bring such awesome energy into the world, that it's hard to imagine life without them.
That's one of my favorite things about children's books. There are animals everywhere!
With themes similiar to the Rey classic, Spotty, here we have an animal story about a surprise kitten, Pepper, who finds himself black in a family of all white cats...
The new kitten just appeared in our kitchen one morning. None of us knew where she came from, or how she got here. But there she sat, on the cane chair, staring down all of us.
The mother cat and white babies immediately take the sweet dear in, but when it comes to fun and games, everyone wants something different. Pepper doesn't like to play hide and seek in the snow, she prefers to do it in the basement where it is nice and dark. Of course, the white cats love the opposite.
After speculating aloud how nice it would be if they were all alike, Pepper et al get the big idea of how to make it so. Ah, there's no problem in the world that a little flour and coal dust can't solve. In the end, mother arrives with the wisest advice of all, "What really counts is that we love each other and try hard to make one another happy."
After all, yourself is the best thing to be.
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