About the Book:
Title: CLOVER KITTY GOES TO KITTYGARTEN
Author: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrator: Hiroe Nakata
Pub. Date: August 1, 2020
Children may experience a range of emotions about starting kindergarten from excitement to anxiety. On the morning of her first day, sensory sensitive Clover Kitty is worried about how kindergarten will sound like and feel like.
Entering Ms. Snappytail’s classroom, Clover is overwhelmed by all the noises, the overstimulating decor, and being touched or too close to her classmates. Illustrator Hiroe Nakata conveys Clover’s adverse reaction so that children can better understand her feelings.
After lunch and naptime, Clover can’t take her classmates’ invasion of her personal space anymore. Unable to express her feelings verbally, she resorts to a tantrum and cries all the way home. Once home, her mom soothes her until she falls asleep. For the next three days, Clover tells her mom she feels sick and her mom surprisingly allows Clover to stay home. Oliver, a concerned classmate, stops by Clover’s house on the first two days but Clover is still not ready to interact. When Oliver does not come on Thursday, Clover feels a little alone and when she wakes up on Friday, she decides she will give kittygarten another try. Having time to think it over, Clover outfits herself with accessories such as sunglasses, earmuffs, and her own rug to combat the overstimulated classroom. While school is still challenging, Clover realizes that having a calm friend like Oliver makes kittygarten less stressful.
Historically, books that help children cope with sensory issues are few and far between but this seems to be changing. I just recently read and reviewed an eARC of Jamie Sumner’s upcoming middle grade novel Tune It Out (releasing in September 2020) in which the main character has an undiagnosed sensory processing disorder. To read my review, click here. For our younger students, I am glad that parents and teachers can read Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten to not only help stimulus sensory children but also educate their classmates.
For all children starting kindergarten, school is not going to be the traditional setting. All across the country, children will be in person with social distancing, hybrid with a mix of in person and virtual or completely virtual. Author Laura Purdie Salas aptly handles a delicate topic by writing an honest and engaging story which any child coping with a new school experience can relate to. Nakata’s watercolor illustrations warmly show Clover’s change from beginning to end.
Praise for Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten!
Check out the book trailer below. Activity sheets and more can be found at https://laurasalas.com/clover/
Meet the Author:
Laura Purdie Salas is an award-winning author of more than 125 books for children, including her recent books Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations, illustrated by Micha Archer, and Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons, illustrated by Mercè López. Her books have received such honors as Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books for Children, IRA Teachers’ Choice, the Minnesota Book Award, and NCTE Notable book. Laura went to kindergarten in Florida and now lives in Minnesota. She hates crowds and knows a good friend makes everything better. Learn more about the author at www.laurasalas.com. Twitter: @LauraPSalas Facebook: @LauraPSalas
Hiroe Nakata grew up in Japan and moved to the United States when she was sixteen. She is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design. Artwork from her first picture book, Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate, was chosen for the prestigious Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition. Since then, she has illustrated numerous books for children, including her recent titles, Baby Builders, written by Elissa Haden Guest, Baby’s Blessings, written by Lesléa Newman, and One More Hug, written by Inside Edition’s national correspondent Megan Alexander. Hiroe vividly remembers her daughter’s struggles in kindergarten and is happy to report that, at fourteen, her daughter excels in school and plays in the school band. Instagram: @hiroenakata
Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten courtesy of Two Lions Publishing (U.S. addresses). Fill out the Google form below to enter. This giveaway is open from Wednesday, August 5, 2020 through Wednesday, August 12, 2020 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST. Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.