Jess Black, KITTY is not a CAT: Teddy’s Bear, Lothian Children’s Books, July 2020, 60 pp., RRP $9.99 (pbk), ISBN 9780734419774
Jess Black, KITTY is not a CAT: Lights Out, Lothian Children’s Books, July 2020, 60 pp., RRP $9.99 (pbk), ISBN 9780734419750
KITTY is not a CAT is a series of amusing and warm-hearted books about the adventures of Kitty, an unusually independent young girl who is adopted by a house full of music loving cats. As well as their ability to play various musical instruments, these cats possess human attributes and reside in a home of their own. This is a parent free world where problems are always resolved, if not in rather unconventional ways.
These two books are part of a four book series by Jess Black which are based on a successful Australian animation series and will delight junior readers who love stories that are out of the ordinary. The feline characters are all distinctly different and equally well-intentioned in working together to resolve Kitty’s troubles — the worry of the dark at lights out and their perceived need for a teddy bear for Kitty.
I romped along with these books. The text flows easily, the story evolves logically and the illustrations —again through the clever use of a limited colour palette — are eye-catching and engaging. While these stories (dare I say) may be suited toward girls who will all love Kitty, the cats themselves are exceedingly cool and quirky so there is amusement here for everyone. Of course, younger prereaders will really enjoy these books as the stories are great fun when read out loud, especially for adult readers who like a bit of play acting.
Reviewed by Jennifer Mors