Here at the Bach Haus, we just love Kevin Henkes. He's got all these adorable books about mice characters (Lilly, Chrysanthemum, Wemberley) and the stories are great, as are the illustrations, both done by Henkes. He has a real talent for storytelling that is appropriate for his audience. They are books that kids & parents alike can love.
Kitten's First Full Moon seems to be a departure from the style we had come to know & love. But even though this book is very different from his mice-books, this is a wonderful book in its own right. The illustrations are black & white, very different from the Lilly books (and others). But I think the black & white adds charm & hits the right tone here - it just would not be the same with color illustrations. Kitten is outside at night, with only the light from the moon to guide her. Doesn't everything look black & white then?
The style of illustration is a lot different than Henkes' other work as well. There are big, heavy lines and lots of simple scenes. But again, that style works well for this book. I don't think it would work at all for Chester's Way, but here, it's perfect.
I should probably mention what the story is about. Kitten sees the full moon in the sky and thinks it's a big bowl of milk. She keeps trying to get the bowl of milk, but has no luck. The ending is very sweet, but I won't spoil it for you! So, just like the black & white palette and the thick-lined illustrations, the storyline is sweet & simple. I personally love children's stories in which a character completely mistakes one thing for something else. They're just endearing, I think. And kitten is an endearing character - we want to see her get that bowl of milk she is trying so hard for!
This book won the Caldecott Award in 2005. I'm glad the book has received such a prestigious award. It's charming & sweet and it's one of those books where there's more than meets the eye
Have you (or any children close to you) read this book? Please let me know if you enjoyed it!