From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-As a thunderstorm approaches, Jonathan looks out his window and observes a stray cat. Believing that the animal is afraid of the storm, he runs downstairs to let her in. The feline dashes in, deposits a kitten on the rug, and darts back into the rain. While Jonathan and his grandparents worry about caring for the little creature, the mother cat returns twice more with her babies before settling down for the night. The heart of this story is its illustrations, created by the manipulation of oil-paint glazes. Hartung's blotting technique provides contrast between a complex detailed background and the simple drawings of people and animals in the foreground. This contrast and the opposition of the dark night and the well-lit house reduce any fear children might have about the storm. Hutchins combines familiar elements with the mood created by the art to craft a pleasant story that will appeal to young readers. Children will share Jonathan's concern for the cats and will take comfort in the story's resolution. A wonderful read-aloud selection.
Shara Alpern, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Ages 3-7. A summer storm is approaching, and Jonathan is glad he's inside with his grandparents. But outside, a stray cat seeks shelter for her kittens. One by one she carries them to the house, but when the storm hits, Jonathan must help. Finally, safe and cozy, Jonathan and the feline family sleep, under the reassuring watch of the boy's grandparents. Simple, lyrical prose conveys the intensity and sometimes spookiness of thunderstorms, where "lightning splits the sky with wild, white brightness" and rain "pounds into the grass like something angry." The evocative, textured oil paintings have wonderful depth, effectively playing shadows against light, illuminating details and contrasting moods. Outdoor scenes, awash in dark blue and gray hues, are often framed with silhouettes of recognizable objects; indoors, rooms are warm and glowing. Alternating perspectives add further drama and intimacy. The dark, Gothic-looking book jacket implies mystery, but the story itself is about the welcome comfort of safe havens, for humans and animals alike. Shelle RosenfeldCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved