Ezra’s Books

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Kitten for a Day

Four Winds Press (now Viking), 1974

When is a puppy not a puppy? When he’s a kitten for a day! With four carefree kittens and one confused puppy at play, nothing can spoil their fun—not a little spilled milk or a bump on the head. Finally our puppy hero is called home for lunch by his mom, and his new friends promise that next time, it will be the kittens’ turn to be puppies for a day!

Take a Closer Look

Kitten-Essay-pixAnimals, and especially his beloved pets, were important to Ezra, and after Pet Show! he thought of casting dogs and cats as characters in lively, nearly wordless, fantasy scenarios. In Kitten for a Day, a little puppy chances upon four tiny kittens and joins them in play. They lick, he slurps; they lap up milk, he splashes it…until his mother calls him home. The kittens’ parting words are, “Next time, let’s all be puppies!”

Ezra captures the sheer lovableness of baby animals: puppies’ eager-to-please clumsiness and kittens’ playful energy. He also hits all of the Keats touchstones for a happy human childhood: the pleasure of play, differences accepted, new friendship, adventuresome siblings, a loving mother. The few words of the story include sounds that are fun to imitate, like “Meee…rrruff!” This is a happy book, perfect for reading to young children.

Look Beyond the Book

Characters in the Book