Pizza Kittens

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Overview

From the creator of GINGER, a comedy of errors for every mischievous kitten who has ever squirmed at the dinner table.

It’s suppertime! Can three rambunctious kittens meet the challenge of sitting through an entire meal without leaving the table a disaster zone? After one promising start, an accidentally spilled drink and flying peas spell reluctant defeat. But the next night Dad makes pizza - everyone’s favorite - and Mom declares an early ...

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Overview

From the creator of GINGER, a comedy of errors for every mischievous kitten who has ever squirmed at the dinner table.

It’s suppertime! Can three rambunctious kittens meet the challenge of sitting through an entire meal without leaving the table a disaster zone? After one promising start, an accidentally spilled drink and flying peas spell reluctant defeat. But the next night Dad makes pizza - everyone’s favorite - and Mom declares an early victory. At last, a family meal together that’s "absolutely perfect" . . . or is it?

Charlotte Voake’s sprightly, expressive watercolors are the ideal complement to this comically familiar story, celebrating the daily mayhem of family mealtime.

Kittens Lucy, Joe, and Bert prefer pizza to peas.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A cat family melts down whenever dinner rolls around: Can this mealtime be saved? It certainly doesn't look promising. Rendering her wiry cats with eager, bright eyes and tense, upright postures, Voake comically conveys the anxiety and frustration of a family determined to sit down together and enjoy a pleasant meal. Mom can't seem to make anyone happy with her menu choices: "Fish sticks your favorite!" she says. "Not my favorite," replies one kitten. "I wanted baked beans," says another. "Oh no, not salad!" cry the three feline siblings in unison a few beats later. Dad's subsequent attempt at helming a civilized repast ("The next evening began well," the author writes ominously) degenerates into a whine-fest and sodden pea disaster. Voake gives her readers a front-row seat for these gastronomic train-wrecks. Most of the spreads resemble a stage set, as if the audience is sitting just a few feet in front of the cats' dining room table. Her distilled settings and electrified ink lines exude the edgy energy of an onlooker who is trying to record the action as it unfolds and can capture only the most telling details and emotions. As for the ending, Voake, a clearheaded observer of family dynamics, concludes with yet one more kitten mishap. But by serving up a conciliatory pizza ("Our favorite!" squeal the kittens) she also reassures readers that the family will endure to dine together again. Ages 3-5. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Joe, Lucy, and Bert may look like kittens, but they are really just kids. After they make a mess of the dinner table, Dad and Mom want them to learn to eat properly with good manners. But of course they don't like what Dad cooks, then Bert's chair falls over, and there is another mess, to their chagrin. The next night when Dad makes their favorite pizza, it seems as if things may turn out better. But we can predict what will happen because kids will be kids, even if they say it's "absolutely perfect." This simple, amusingly familiar story of family life is told in matter-of-fact prose set in an elegant large typeface with occasional asides in balloons. The very active pictures, created with a heavy, nervous black line and touches of watercolor, portray a very appealingly human quintet of felines set on the soft yellow pages. Only the barest of props are needed to depict the humorous actions. 2002, Candlewick Press,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Lucy, Joe, and Bert just want pizza for dinner. Mom and Dad only want them to sit down and behave, but with three energetic little kittens that seem to attract accidents, this seems impossible. Dad decides to serve peas, but the siblings insist they don't like them. ("Only one for me!") After a giant mess is made, Mom says they will try again the next night for an orderly dinnertime. They do- with pizza. But kittens will be kittens, and the last illustration shows Bert, pizza in one hand, glass of water in the other, tipped precariously on a chair-inviting children to tell what happens next. Kids and parents alike will recognize the familiar struggle: "Does this have onions in it?" "I think I can see carrots." Voake's signature style shines through in the sketchy watercolor-and-ink illustrations in which she captures, in the simplest of brushstrokes, both the kittens' wide-eyed recklessness and their parents' exasperation. This family story gets it right.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This fable of "Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Table Manners" will have kids giggling at the familiar home dinnertime fiascos. Mom has a fit when her three rambunctious kittens leave the table a mess. "Oh, no, not salad!" So the next night Dad cooks peas-and another dinner turns into disaster of spilled drinks and flying food. The third night Dad makes something special that is the solution-PIZZA! Watercolor-and-ink illustrations depict the upright cats with frizzley, sketchy lines and bulging yellow eyes. Skillful compositions stage the action against soft, celery-colored paper with balloon comments/asides adding sparks of spontaneity to the large-type text. Voake's sprightly, quick-sketch style borders on caricatures here and is not as charming as her previous Ginger (1997). The design is attractive, with one flaw: the fuchsia color of the copyright page (in this case facing the title page) is so intense the small type with the CIP information is not readable. These kids in kitten fur behave just like, well . . . kids, and there just might be a chance that their feline manners will rub off on real children, although the message seems to favor caving in to the picky eater. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763616229
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST US
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.75 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlotte Voake is a highly acclaimed author and illustrator of books for children, including GINGER, for which she won the 1997 Smarties Book Prize Gold Award. She illustrated ELSIE PIDDOCK SKIPS IN HER SLEEP by Eleanor Farjeon and has been short-listed four times for the prestigious Kurt Maschler Award in Britain. PIZZA KITTENS, says Charlotte Voake, is based on personal experience. "Good manners are not acquired overnight," she explains. "Just when you think things are going well, accidents happen. The secret is to keep trying!"
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    Posted November 25, 2010

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