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Monday, January 25, 2010

Posy, written by Linda Newbery and illustrated by Catherine Rayner. Atheneum, Simon & Schuster, 2008. $19.99 ages 2 and up

"She's a whiskers wiper, crayon swiper. Playful wrangler, knitting tangler. Spider catcher, sofa scratcher."

Even if you don't love kittens, you will love Posy. I promise you that! She is a striped ball of fur, who happily goes about her day doing what kittens are meant to do. At least, I think that's right. I have never had a kitten, never wanted one and still think my position holds. But, too much time spent with Posy could turn the most adamant stance to melted butter.

Her day begins with getting cleaned up and ready, and she moves on to partake of any feline fun she can imagine. She tangles herself in a pink ball of wool, sharpens her claws on the sofa's surface and then heads outdoors to see what trouble awaits. A chance encounter with another kitten results in spitting, squabbling and eventual peace. Her adventures inside and out show her inquisitive nature, her playfulness and even her fear of something larger and more assertive. Her happy return to hearth and home bring cuddles, reconnections and finally, sleep. It's been that kind of day!

The rhyming text, the brilliant illstrations bring Posy to glorious life as we share her day, her dreams, and her dilemmas. It's short and captivating, and will bring great joy to those who love the playfulness of kittens. It is as if Posy lives on these pages, with lots of white space surrounding her and lots of opportunity to explore her world. Lest you think it is a story only for the very young, please know that it provides a great lesson in perfect word choice and lets its readers experience the rhythms and rhymes of our beautiful language.

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