From the Publisher
Starred review, Publishers Weekly, November 26, 2007:
"While this title has broad appeal, it is an especially apt choice for children who approach the unknown with fear rather than pleasure."
Starred review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2007:
"A winner for a winter storytime, this is as amusing as watching real kittens romp."
Starred review, School Library Journal, February 2008:
“This playful look at living life to the fullest is a natural for young children.”
Everything about this book is simple, spare, sincere and hugely appealing…As ever, Rohmann's tale unfolds mainly through his pictures, with their signature black outlines and adroit manipulation of perspective.
The Washington Post
Rohmann's (My Friend Rabbit) concise cat story shares the uncomplicated elegance and playful spirit of fellow Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes's Kitten's First Full Moon. Here, gray, brown and marmalade kittens dread the coming of winter, but a yellow tabby holds an opposing view. The first kitten shivers, " 'We'll be cold!' 'Freezing cold!' said the second kitten. 'Cold to the tips of our tails!' said the third kitten. The fourth kitten said, 'I can't wait.' " With the arrival of spring, summer and fall, the three kittens express anxiety, while their optimistic littermate repeats, "I can't wait." Along with the dialogue, Rohmann winks at cat lovers with his observations of feline behavior. His inviting linocut illustrations make use of supple black outlines, grainy earth-tone hues and coal-black page borders. Knowing readers will smile at the kittens' lazy pastimes, like tapping at a leaf on the garden pond, grasping at a bug or ducking under a throw rug so that only a telltale rounded bump and swishy tail can be seen. When the dreaded snowflakes finally arrive, a wordless spread of the three curious naysayers watching their friend through a window-and a concluding image of all four tumbling in a snowdrift-confirm what wise readers suspected all along: there's good reason to look forward to the changing seasons. While this title has broad appeal, it is an especially apt choice for children who approach the unknown with fear rather than pleasure. Ages 3-6. (Jan.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - L. A. Gallaway
Caldecott winner Eric Rohmann tells the story of four kittens who await their first snow. While three worry about the potential calamities of such an event, the fourth says simply and joyously, "I can't wait." This line is chorused throughout the seasons of spring, summer, and fall. When winter finally arrives, with snow the three kittens cower under the rug while the fourth ventures outside to play. Finally, the others go to the window to watch. By watching the kitten play, they are able to overcome their fear of snow. They decide to join him saying, "I can't wait!" This book respectfully and effectively addresses concerns that many children have about encountering unfamiliar situations. It is illustrated with clean monotypes colored with soft hues that reflect this gentle story. Reviewer: L. A. Gallaway
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2- Four lively kittens come upon cards in the mailbox with winter scenes on them. Three of the felines are worried about the snow and lament that they will be freezing and wet when it comes. But the fourth one "can't wait." Talking about the idea of snow as they frolic in the summer and climb trees in the fall, three of the kittens fret that piles of it will cover them. Once again, the fearless fourth kitten says, "I can't wait." When snow finally arrives, he heads out to romp about, observed by the others, who shortly follow: "We'll be right out!" Beautifully illustrated, with Rohmann's signature strong black lines framing the action and outlining the characters, the leaves, and the windowpanes, this playful look at living life to the fullest is a natural for young children. The appealing cover illustration of the frolicking felines will draw them in, and the simple but engaging plot will keep them interested. The pared-down text makes this an accessible title for beginning readers as well.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.