From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—The day after his birthday, Leo finds a stray kitten, takes her home, and names her Sugar. Although he does not know anything about felines, they get on well. But when Leo tries to feed Sugar leftover cake, she won't eat it. He seeks the expertise of various adult friends, who all offer advice that sounds not unlike the threats parents issue to their own fussy eaters. The boy cajoles, bargains, and warns, but the kitten will not eat the cake. It is hard not to question why Leo's mother, who observes her son's efforts from the sidelines, doesn't simply take him to the library for a book about pet care and put an end to the agony. Finally, he stumbles upon the appropriate food for Sugar and is optimistic about their future together. And then he decides to give the kitten a bath. While not exactly offering wisdom, this gently humorous book gives readers an empathetic link between themselves and tiny Sugar. Potter's distinctive illustrations, done in pencil, ink, gouache, gesso, and watercolor, incorporate plenty of color, with the repeated image of the blue-gray kitten dwarfed atop a dramatically red kitchen table establishing the premise of a small being facing down a larger entity.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
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Jenkins (Toys Go Out, 2006) tells a story of a kitten who refuses to eat in this breezy picture book. Leo finds a kitten sitting on his front steps one day. He names her Sugar, but when he tries to feed her a slice of leftover birthday cake the kitten will have none of it. Leo goes around to various people in the neighborhood, each of whom offers advice culled from their youth when they didn’t want to eat something. Potter’s signature folk-naïf artwork fits the tone well, particularly in the way Sugar sits on the table, calmly and resolutely regarding Leo as he pleads, commands, and bargains with her before arriving at an amenable resolution. Anyone who’s ever tried to get a cat to do something it doesn’t care to do will immediately sympathize with Leo’s frustration, and while the point is for kids to recognize themselves in the kitten’s stubbornness, that might be a little too subtle. Messages aside, feline admirers will come away from this fully charmed. Preschool-Grade 2. --Ian Chipman
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