Chloe the Kitten is a fairy animal who lives in Misty Wood. Her job, as a Cobweb Kitten, is to help make Misty Wood beautiful by decorating all the spiderwebs with glittering dewdrops. One morning she wakes up late and nearly misses the window of opportunity to collect her bucket of dewdrops from the dewdrop fountain. Receiving help from a friend she successfully completes her day’s work only to discover that someone has come along afterward and stolen the dewdrops off the webs. It turns out the thief is only a thirsty little mouse who’s lost. Chloe determines to help her new friend find his family even though he lives by the lions and she’s afraid of the danger they may encounter.
Chloe the Kitten is the first book of the rapidly expanding Fairy Animals of Misty Wood series by Lily Small. Its cover, with a cute fairy-winged kitten and embossed shining silver sparkle, is a sure magnet for many a young reader. My five-year-old daughter eagerly brought it home from the bookstore and begged to read it with me immediately. We curled up on the couch, read the first chapter, then the next, and the next, until we finished the whole book in about an hour!
There are many strengths to this book. Lily Small invites readers into a truly wondrous world– a world in which every fairy animal plays an important part, care for creation is a core aspect in everyday activity, and friendship and kindness are encouraged in spite of worry and fear. Sentence structure is simple and appropriate for early readers yet the simplicity does not distract from other elements of the story. Chapter endings are especially strong, raising a question or concern over the next course of action. It’s difficult to stop reading when one’s curiosity is so peaked.
The one weakness I’d attribute is the lack of Chloe’s contribution to problem-solving in the story. When it comes to the missing bucket, it’s a friend who provides a solution. When it comes to finding the mouse’s family, for all of Chloe’s attempts and tries, it’s the Wise Owl who conveniently makes it happen. Chloe, as a main character who means well, should have had a more direct role in discovering the location of the “lions”.
All in all, Chloe the Kitten is an excellent book (perhaps most strong as a stand alone from the rest of the series). It’ll capture the heart of any reader that likes cute animal critters, fairies, forests, glitter and pretty.
Reviewed by K.C. Darling
(review copy personally purchased).