Horn Book Guide
"Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, are you waking up? / 'Not yet, Mother, I'm a sleepy buttercup.'" In a familiar domestic tableau, a mother cat patiently urges her easily distractible kitten through the morning's before-school routine. Sweet but not cloying, the rhyming patterned text is complemented by playful watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations just right for lap-sharing.
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
A sleepy kitten lies abed as Mother Cat admonishes her to get up and get ready for school. As Mother calls from another room, the reader sees the kitten slowly awakening and then standing on her head, practicing her purr, searching for clothing, putting on socks, finding shoes, playing with her dish and chasing a mouse. The repentant kitten is shown in the last frame hugging her mother and apologizing for being so slow. The repetitious rhyming text lacks the visual animation of Martin's other works, but young children will likely enjoy the charming pastel pictures of the gray kitten and her antics. They may identify with some of the distractions of getting started with the day. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
A dawdling kitten and her patient mother take part in a daily ritual that will be familiar to parents and children: "Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, are you waking up?/Not yet Mother, I'm a sleepy buttercup." The two continue their back-and-forth exchange as Kitty Cat dilly-dallies and Mother urges her through each step of the morning routine and gets her off to school. Martin uses the repetitive formula that worked so well in Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do you See? (1983) and, more recently, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? (2007, both Holt), but this time the cumulative questions actually advance a narrative. Kitty Cat is the star of her own show, romping across the pages, knowing that she will eventually get to where she needs to be. There is never a sense of urgency on Mother's part, either, which makes the final line "Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, now we have to go!/Okay, Mother, I'm sorry I'm so slow" seem like an unexpected chastisement. The accompanying picture of mother and daughter sharing a warm hug helps to defuse the negativity. Bryant's illustrations, rendered in watercolor and colored pencil, are playful, light, and absolutely adorable. This book is perfect for sharing one-on-one, preferably while snuggling.-Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Charming and forgettable, this slight collaboration has undeniable appeal but little real substance. Kitty Cat is an adorable, anthropomorphized version of a poky preschooler. She keeps her mother waiting while she shrugs off sleep, practices her purr, misplaces her clothing and chases a mischievous mouse. Watercolor-and-colored pencil illustrations focus on the endearing grey-and-white kitten while including plenty of pretty patterns and interesting textures. To Bryant's credit, her illustrations succeed in being engaging without being excessively cute or overly saccharine. The rhyming couplets, unfortunately, do not fare as well. The sing-song rhythm and repeated phrases get tiresome despite the brevity of the text. Some rhymes seem forced (what exactly is "a sleepy buttercup"?), though others nicely capture the playfulness of a young child. Given the perennial allure of cats as characters and of Martin's reputation, odds are good this will find a wide audience. Young listeners may enjoy hearing it read through once, but they're more likely to pore over the pictures than request repeat readings. Adequate but uninspired. (Picture book. 3-6)