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Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten

Written by Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
Publisher: Amazon/Two Lions, 2020
ISBN: 978-1542042468 40 pages


Clover Kitty does NOT want to go to kittygarten! Although she might like a friend to play with, kittygarten feels overwhelming for a sensory-sensitive kitty like Clover. And when she arrives, it is exactly as she fears: her classroom is too loud, the lights are too bright, and everyone comes too close. So Clover throws a fit…and decides to quit kittygarten. But when a classmate comes to check on her, she begins to reconsider. Maybe it’s time for Clover to give kittygarten another chance.…
After naptime, Ms. Snappytail marched the kitties through school like prisoners. A tail touched Clover’s face! In her purrrrrsonal space! THAT WAS IT. Clover spit. She bit. She threw a fur-flying hissy-fit. 'I quit!'

Journal Reviews

Salas shapes a read-aloud that will spark conversation with first-timers who are sensitive to stimulus, while Nakata humorously conveys the resolute feline’s emotions in expressive watercolor images.
—Publishers Weekly
VERDICT A perfect story to share at the beginning of the school year.
—School Library Journal
Clover’s experiences and school ‘armor’ helpfully explain the ups and downs of the first day of school or of going to school for the first time. A reassuring read to ward off the jitters.
Those with sensory issues or those attending school with them may learn from these kitties’ examples.
—Kirkus Reviews

Reader Reactions

A kindergarten book focused on a main character who is sensory-sensitive? YES!

—Picturebook Playdate

It isn’t a kindergarten book, it’s an “everyone who might be starting something new” book.


With a charming protagonist and caring friend, the story will inspire better understanding and kindness that benefits children in the classroom and beyond.

—Celebrate Picture Books

...her ultimate success in seeking out a kind and calm friend is a reminder that school is a great place to discover the people you want to surround yourself with.

—Dad Suggests

This book is a wonderful way to talk about emotions and changes happening, with a new classroom!

—Dream Reader Kids

Downloadable Activities

Classroom Ideas

Photo Gallery

Lydia Lukidis
Phone case
Clover Kitty - Quote of the Day

More for Educators or Writers

  • Blissfully Bookish: Where the idea came from, which mentor text inspired me to use sets of three rhyming lines, occasionally, and one piece of advice for writers.
  • Love, Laughter, and Life:  On my writing journey, my treadmill desk, donuts, and anxiety.
  • Sincerely Stacie: “[T]his children’s picture book doesn’t address going back to school during a pandemic, but it does address the various issues children with sensory issues might have with going back to school and many of those concerns relate to what families are going through now.”
  • The Children’s Book Review: “I wrote this book because…I wondered, What is the least scary thing I can think of, and can I make a character who’s scared of it? My answer: a pile of puppies (which morphed into kitties eventually).”

How this Book Got Started

I heard Anna Kang interviewed about the book I Am (Not) Scared. Then I wondered, What is the least scary thing I can think of, and can I make a character who’s scared of that? My answer: a pile of puppies (which morphed into kitties eventually). The story went through many other animals in between, too!

Poems I've Written

These poems connect to this book in topic, theme, or form—great for text-to-text connections!


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