The Blurb On The Back:
She’s cute, she’s fluffy and she LOVES to explore! But Prince Miles doesn’t have time for adventures when he has the perfect picnic to organise and a strict schedule to follow. Can Kitticorn show him that sometimes the best kind of fun is unplanned?
KITTICORN was released in the United Kingdom on 22nd July 2021. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
Prince Miles is planning an enchanted picnic and visits the Magic Pet Shop in Twinkleton-Under-Beanstalk because he wants the perfect pet to show off there. He settles on Kitticorn who looks soft and graceful and although Mrs Paws warns him that Kitticorn likes to explore, he’s certain that she’s the perfect pet for him. It isn’t long though before Kitticorn is wrecking havoc on all his careful, details plans and timetable for the party – what will Prince Miles do?
The fourth in Matilda Rose and Tim Budgen’s THE MAGIC PET SHOP SERIES of picture books is a cute read about not judging by appearances and learning that sometimes you need to kick loose and be open to adventures and havoc rather than living by rigid plans. It was a little too sweet for me and I would have liked it if Kitticorn had learnt that sometimes planning is useful but young readers should enjoy the emphasis on play and having fun.
I hadn’t read the preceding books in this series, but you don’t need to in order to follow what happens here.
I actually had a lot of empathy for Prince Miles who has carefully planned and scheduled his picnic to the finest detail and has a vision for how it will go. As a planner myself, I could hard-relate to his aim of achieving perfection whether in the invitations and biscuits or in the activities. Rose and Budgen do a great job of showing how the impossibly cute Kitticorn throws all these plans into chaos as it seeks to go off on adventures and in doing so, encourages Miles to play more and cut loose. Certainly, I don’t have any issue with the message that you can’t plan for everything and should be prepared to cut loose and go with the flow as you could end up having more fun. However, I think it could have been balanced by having Miles show Kitticorn that sometimes it’s good to have plans too – after all, the other children wouldn’t have had a party to come to had Miles not organised it.
The book also has a sub-message about not judging by appearances. Miles thinks that Kitticorn is elegant and graceful and will fit into his ordered life, despite Mrs Paws’s warning. Certainly, if you looked at the cover illustration you wouldn’t think that such an adorable kitty would cause so much mayhem.
Rose’s prose goes at a good pace, there are some quite sophisticated words in there but children reading along with parents will be able to follow what they mean. Budgen’s illustrations are suitably cute (my favourite was one where Kitticorn paws at the door to go outside). It’s a perfectly fine book but just a little too cutesy and sweet for me – mainly because we’re told that Miles feels cross for Kitticorn spoiling all his planning but you never get shown that and I think it should have been (not in a mean way but just to acknowledge it). If your child is already reading this series, then they will enjoy this instalment but if they’re not, then I think it’s worth checking out especially if they’re into cute animals and magic.