For reasons unknown, I thought Posy would be a lamb when I saw the title. Posy, in reality, is a very cute kitten. This story follows the daily life of a stereotypical cat. Posy likes to wipe his whiskers and swipe plenty of crayons…and a lot of other nouns/verbs phrases that follow a rhyme pattern. The art gives a double effect, one of sloppiness, and one of realism. This leads to intricate, fascinating images. Posy depicts everything a cat will ever be recognized for doing. For young cat lovers, that makes reading this book an excellent choice.
I anticipated reading this story because I see it mentioned a lot. I had some misgivings with the book, as it fell in line with the stereotype of silence-loving librarians, but those stereotypes were eventually humored in a way that made me appreciate it. This book focuses on a library that suddenly receives daily visits from a storytime-loving lion. Although they were wary at first, the community soon grows to love the mysterious library lion. Even Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, comes to rely on the lion’s presence. This book is a long story for a small child to sit through, but if the attention span is there, it is definitely worth the read.
Black and white illustrations are an interesting, risky choice for a children’s picture book, but the technique works very well for this particular story. The arts is so excellent, in fact, that the book won a Caldecott Medal for the illustrations. Henkes has won many awards for his books over the years, but this one is particularly deserving. It focuses a mischievous kitten who is desperate to reach the big bowl of milk in sky. The bowl is actually the moon, but the illustrations portray a large, milky moon that make it is easy for the reader to understand the kitten’s mistake. The story itself also works well, with repetition used to build a lot of suspense and anticipation for the kitten’s ambition. There are many laugh out loud moments in this simple but darling story. Kevin Henkes stories are always good, but this one goes above and beyond his typical story excellence.