Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten
After naptime, Ms. Snappytail marched the kitties through school like prisoners. A tail touched Clover’s face!
In her purrrrrsonal space!
THAT WAS IT.
She threw a fur-flying hissy-fit.
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.…
Author: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrator: Hiroe Nakata
Publisher: Amazon/Two Lions (8/1/20)
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Publishers Weekly: “Clover finally has the anticipated change of heart, wondering what it would be like to have a friend to play with, but she also preps smartly (earmuffs, sunglasses) for the classroom’s sensory barrage, and capably sets boundaries where she needs them. 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.”
School Library Journal: “VERDICT A perfect story to share at the beginning of the school year.”
Booklist: “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.”
Kirkkus Reviews: “Those with sensory issues or those attending school with them may learn from these kitties’ examples.”
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.
Publishers Weekly: A list of 2020 back-to-school books
Red Canoe Reader: “Laurie Purdie Salas’s story offers comfort to these children. It helps them understand there are others who feel just as they do, and offers reassurance it is possible to find a happy place at school.”
Dream Reader Kids: “This book is a wonderful way to talk about emotions and changes happening, with a new classroom!”
Book Nerd Mommy: “It is about Clover the kitty who loves quiet activities and isn’t a fan of bright lights and loud noises. So, when she goes to Kittygarten for the first time she is overwhelmed and almost quits entirely. However, the enticement of making friends and some simple accommodations help her adjust and even enjoy Kittygarten.“
Dad Suggests: “ What I really appreciate about the book is that author Laura Purdie Salas doesn’t just present Clover Kitty’s issues with the chaos and unfamiliarity of school as something to simply “get over” and change about herself. Her desire for calmness and peacefulness is affirmed, and 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.”
PictureBooks4Learning: “Clover has sensory overload with the many sights, sounds, and smells of Kittygarten. The text masterfully captures Clover’s emotions and allows readers to understand that it is okay to feel nervous about a new school year…a sweet story to share with readers before their first day of school.”
AlohaMoraOpenABook: “Do you know someone feeling more like this 🙈 rather than this 🥳 for school? These 📚 are perfect for the anxious/nervous child.”
Unleashing Readers: “I was also a kid who faked sick because I didn’t enjoy school when I was in elementary school. Clover’s actions likely replicate those of millions of kids, and the book offers opportunities for conversations with kids about pushing forward despite discomfort. There’s so much to love about this book. The illustrations made me smile, and they beautifully portray the emotions of the characters. The language flows well, which makes for a very enjoyable read-aloud. Literary elements are packed within the pages, which makes this book very teachable. We’ll be rereading this one often, and we will definitely pull it out the evening before school begins!”
Christy’s Cozy Corners: “Poor Clover doesn’t know what hit her when she steps into her kittygarten class! It’s noisy. She doesn’t like all of the quick changes. Some of the other kids are wild! What a disaster! Will Clover ever go back to kittygarten?” Kids will “will enjoy looking at the illustrations as you read the story. It’s a good opportunity to talk about your child’s worries about school. Let them tell you about their day. Ask about new friends. They’re only little once! Enjoy them now!”
Celebrate Picture Books: “An important book to add to home, classroom, and public library collections, Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten promotes mindful consideration of the images, sounds, smells, and activities that can become overwhelming not only for sensory-sensitive people but for us all. With a charming protagonist and caring friend, the story will inspire better understanding and kindness that benefits children in the classroom and beyond.”
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).”
StoryMamas: “It isn’t a kindergarten book, it’s an “everyone who might be starting something new” book. I adored how this character wasn’t purrfect, and that she loved being alone and that being in large groups is not something that she feels comfortable with. This book can be used to teach many social emotional lessons.”
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.”
PicturebookPlaydate: “A kindergarten book focused on a main character who is sensory-sensitive? YES!“