Sammy the Shy Kitten by Holly Webb
|Sammy the Shy Kitten by Holly Webb|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: Hilary Hawkes|
|Summary: A warm, charming and illustrated little story about a very cute feral kitten - and Emma, who wins his trust and confidence and persuades her parents to let her keep him as a pet. A sure delight for young fans of kittens and other animals.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 128||Date: January 2016|
|Publisher: Stripes Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
An adorably, warm and cute story about what happens when Emma falls in love with a tiny sweet feral kitten whom she names Sammy. To persuade Mum and Dad to let her keep him she must learn all she can about taming wild kittens – and, of course, win little Sammy's confidence and trust.
Emma obviously loves being around animals. Like many little girls she spends a lot of time learning to ride and look after ponies at Ivy Bank Stables. And she adores the five wild cats that roam around there too. Her favourite is Tiggy – she is the one who produces the kittens, all tiny, cute and cuddly as new kittens are. What little girl (or boy) wouldn't fall in love with them and want one as a pet? But this is where there is a problem. As Liz, the stable owner and Mum and Dad explain, you can't just adopt a feral kitten without a few careful and sensible strategies and techniques that will get the little fellow used to being around humans.
Emma is a patient and persistent young lady and is clearly willing to do anything to win mum Tiggy, and then little Sammy, over. I love the way she sits quietly on the barn floor – where the kittens were born - waiting for them to get used to her presence. It's a while though, and not without a few setbacks, scratched hands and clawed curtains before Sammy begins to feel safe and at home in a new and strange human house environment. The story wisely mentions that the family do their research about taking care of kittens (especially those from the wild) and they get advice about handling them. I thought this was an important point to make in this sweet and gentle tale because it also educates young readers about how essential it is to know what you're taking on with any pet.
Another strand to the plot is Emma's friend Keira who loves ponies too but is afraid of cats. She doesn't know why that is, but that's the way with a lot of children's fears. It isn't long before the little kitten has worked his cuteness magic on her and Keira feels brave enough to stroke him. Sammy has had to overcome fears of his own, of course, and I really liked the little sections where the story shows, from his own point of view, his bewilderment and uncertainty about being removed from the barn and taken to live with humans.
This is a lovely and wholesome story for emerging readers and those now managing chapter books who love animal stories with happy endings. There are lots of warm and cosy themes about helpfulness, caring, patience and overcoming setbacks. The eight chapters aren't that short - varying from twelve to eighteen pages, but this includes illustrations. The vocabulary and overall book length is about right for young readers to manage alone, but it would also be a good story to read aloud to a child or group of children too. I can see discussions about taking care of pets, empathy and, for children wary of particular animals, perhaps that how to overcome that nervousness too.
I loved the sweet black and white whimsical illustrations by Sophie Williams throughout the book and the little kitten paw prints here and there. Sammy himself looks out appealingly from the front cover of the book too and, being a fan of all things cute and snuggly myself, that definitely enticed me to open the book and discover the story.
Holly Webb has written many books in this adorable series about kittens or puppies and young readers who loved this one might also enjoy her book The Wish Puppy.
You can read more book reviews or buy Sammy the Shy Kitten by Holly Webb at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Sammy the Shy Kitten by Holly Webb at Amazon.com.
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