Review Policy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book Review: Katie Loves the Kittens

Author: John Himmelman
Interest Level: Ages 4-9

From the Book Jacket: Katie is just so excited when Sara Ann brings home three little kittens that she can't stop herself from howling "AROOOOOO!" She loves them so much! But Katie's enthusiasm frightens the kittens, and she's sad when they run away from her. Don't they know that she just wants to play?

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Katie Loves the Kittens is delightful, adorable, and even teaches an important social skill - self-control!! I can't even remember how I found this lovely little piece of kid-lit but the first time I read it I couldn't stop giggling! Katie the dog is having the hardest time controlling herself and can't stop howling at the kittens with absolute joy and excitement. The kittens want nothing to do with her and are a bit freaked out by her behavior. I've read this to all of our K-2 grades and the concept of self-control has been so EASY for me to teach thanks to Katie and her impulsive ways. I bring up the word self-control in the middle of the book and I have the kids repeat it. They are total pros now on the concept of controlling oneself and why it's so important. I love the ending to this story. Katie wakes up with the kittens fast asleep and they are snuggled up to her. The picture of her trying to keep it together and not start howling is so cute. I also love how the illustrations show her getting revved up with the wagging of her tail. I ask the kids, "Why isn't Katie howling?" And they say, "Self-control!"

I wanted to add a little more to this post and introduce two puppets I use to help kids master self-control. Meet Impulsive Puppy and Slow Down Snail! (And yes, that is the ghetto fabulous chair in my office) They come to all the K-1 grades with me the first month of school. Impulsive Puppy is my model for not using self-control. I have him bark at me and interrupt my lessons, roll around on the carpet, and bug kids. And then I talk to Impulsive Puppy in front of the kids asking him to please use self-control like Katie. I tell the kids he is learning to be a student and we need to help him by being good models. I don't know why but this mind judo works every time! I see major behavior improvement in kids immediately just by bringing this type of visual to their attention.
Impulsive Puppy
Slow Down Snail is Puppy's buddy and he reinforces the learning behaviors I'm trying to teach. I have to tell you....they are hits. (it also doesn't hurt that I am part dramatic actress) I've got K-1 kids running up to me at recess asking me how Impulsive Puppy's behavior is and if he's getting better. HA HA! I love it. If you want to get these two guys in your puppet collection, just google them.....

Impulsive Puppy and Slow Down Snail

Just got this workbook over the rocks.

Drawing Together to Develop Self-Control
Author: Marge Eaton Heegaard
For Ages 5-12

This is a new workbook I'm using this year. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! Good stuff for individual, group, or classroom use.

A Link to This Book and Others You Might Find Helpful:


  1. Can I be in your class? You must be the best teacher in the whole wide world.

  2. I love reading Katie Loves the Kittens to my many kindergarten classrooms and it was the first book they clapped for!!!! It is now part of my push-in counseling groups. -A school psychologist