Picture Book Knits: Three Little Kittens

Three Little Kittens by Jerry Pinkney

Caldecott medalist Pinkney adds some very special knitterly touches to the classic nursery rhyme about those careless kittens. Busy playing outside, all three kittens lose their lovely hand-knit mittens, and Mama tells them they cannot have any pie. The kittens quickly go out and find their mittens, then get pie all over them! After washing and drying those messy mittens, the kittens are ready to head back outside to play.

Music is provided on the inside of the dust jacket to sing the words of the book (sadly, nearly inaccessible in my library copy, as the dust jacket is covered with plastic and firmly fastened to the cover; some libraries will likely remove the dust jacket entirely), and the text definitely works better sung than simply read.

The best part of the book, though, is the artwork. Pinkney’s watercolor and graphite pencil illustrations form double-page full-bleed spreads with wonderful details. On the title page spread, the kittens peer out the window at three birds, one of which is wearing a knitted hat with earflaps and a pompom on top! In the next spread, the reader sees Mama Cat knitting, her mitten pattern open on the floor. And, of course, one of the kittens’ favorite playthings appears to be a large ball of yellow yarn.

A sweet addition to any picture book collection, with details that will be especially appreciated by knitting parents.

(Source note: I checked this book out from my public library.)