Review of Mister Kitty Is Lost!

Mister Kitty Is Lost! Mister Kitty Is Lost!
by Greg Pizzoli; illus. by the author
Preschool    Little, Brown    32 pp.
1/23    9780316056540    $16.99

In this funny and satisfying story for the very young, a little girl asks readers, “Have you seen Mister Kitty? He is hiding somewhere inside this book.” We are asked to look for him, but whenever we see what appears to be one of Mister Kitty’s attributes (“5 yellow spots,” “2 green eyes”), a page-turn reveals what the die-cuts were actually hiding (five yellow snakes, two green crocodiles). Each reveal startles the girl’s initially trusting dog, who humorously frowns, covers its eyes, or cowers behind the girl’s legs. When Mister Kitty is finally found, his identity is a surprise that upends all our expectations (“ROAR!”)—and scares the dog off completely. The book’s structure is simple but effective, as left-hand pages use a different, single background color while right-hand pages are white, allowing the die-cut colors to pop. When Mister Kitty is found, the pattern changes to a full-bleed double-page spread incorporating all five colors for the happy reunion. “Let’s go home, Mister Kitty!”

From the January/February 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is a contributing editor to The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

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