Last year, my first year as a K-5 school librarian, I started a series of posts called "Books I Could Read a Million Times". I realized quickly--after reading the same book to several classes--that it took a very special book to hold my interest over many many reads. This is what I noticed last September:
"SO, sometimes I read the same book 20+ times over 4 days. Other books I read 4-8 times--to one or two grade levels.
What I have found is that one of two things happens quickly: Either I CAN'T STAND IT after the 2nd or 3rd read OR I love it every single time and never get sick of it. I look forward to reading it again."
I think these books deserve some recognition.
The first book of this year's "Books I Could Read a Million Times" is Katie Loves the Kittens by John Himmelman. I loved this story the minute I picked it up. It is such a sweet story. Katie--a great dog--is very excited because some new kittens have come to live at her house. And Katie LOVES the new kittens. But, she is so excited that she keeps scaring them without meaning to. Each time that Katie scares the kittens, she is VERY sad. She doesn't want to scare the kittens--remember, she LOVES them! The story continues on and gives us a very happy ending.
Looking out at the faces of the children when Katie is sad and then sadder is almost heartbreaking. I imagine my face while reading these parts is a little sad too. But there are funny parts too. Like when Katie gets excited, she howls, "AROOOOOOOO! AROOOOOO!" And the kids have great fun joining in on those howls! And their faces change when things finally work out for Katie and the kittens. It is one of the books that you want to hug when you are finished!
I could easily read this book a million times. Actually, I think it is a great book for lots of reasons. First of all it is a great story and that is enough. Kids love any book about dogs and pets and they loved this one. The illustrations are perfect--sweet and fun at the same time (my favorite is when Katie tries desperately to squeeze into the window:-) This would also be a great book to use as a mentor text when talking about story structure--such a great story with a sequence that works. One that kids can understand --see what the author was doing.
A great book overall! (It did received several starred reviews so lots of people agree that this is a great book!)