Age Range: 5 to 8
In The Secret Kitten Lucy and her brother William are adjusting to moving into Gran’s house, going to a new school and making friends. Lucy would love a kitten but Gran doesn’t seem that keen on animals.
The Story: Lucy, William and Dad have moved into Gran’s house. When Lucy and William rescue a stray kitten, Catkin, they keep her a secret from Gran and Dad. Lucy tells her new schoolfriend Sara that she has a kitten but when Sara asks to see it Lucy tells her she is busy although she’s not. Gran overhears Lucy lying to Sara and worriedly confides in Dad. When Dad unwittingly leaves Lucy’s bedroom door open Catkin escapes. Lucy is so upset when she can’t find Catkin that she bursts into tears and confesses to Dad and Gran. Gran then finds Catkin sleeping in a kitchen drawer. Will she let Lucy keep the kitten?
Holly Webb really captures the insecurities of moving house, starting a new school and finding new friends. Lucy is a character that children can relate to and children will understand the white lies and stories she tells while trying to make friends and adjusting to her new home. Dad has told Lucy that Gran doesn’t like pets so when they find the stray cats in the alley Lucy daren’t ask if she can have one. A few days later the kitten appears in their garden and it is William who persuades Lucy to hide her in the greenhouse. Thus begins the subterfuge which leads to Lucy lying to Sara and getting to a point where she knows that she must reveal her secret. Many children have been in the situation where they have lied about something and don’t know how to deal with the consequences, Lucy’s predicament in The Secret Kitten can help them understand how to deal with their own situation and show them that confessing is the right thing to do.
The text is easy to read and the eight chapters are beautifully illustrated by Sophy Williams. We read the book in one sitting as my daughter was desperate to know if Lucy would be allowed to keep the kitten! The Secret Kitten is a great first chapter book and we look forward to reading more of Holly Webb’s books.
Thank you to Antonia Wilkinson PR for sending us a review copy of The Secret Kitten which we really enjoyed reading.
The Secret Kitten is the 30th animal story written by Holly Webb and a free app, Holly Webb’s Puppies and Kittens, has been released in celebration of its publication.
First choose a puppy or kitten avatar and then you’re ready to start playing. You can read the story of The Curious Kitten, add the Holly Webb stories that you’ve already read to your bookshelf, play games, follow arts and crafts instructions, try the recipes or create and colour.
The games allow you to earn points to buy either a new pet avatar or accessories for your avatar. My daughter especially enjoyed the maze, the jigsaw and Bop in which you have to push worms back into their holes (good for hand / eye co-ordination) and she loves Cat Chat. In Cat Chat you can record your own voice and then listen to the cat repeating you, my daughter thinks it is hilarious.
As well as a brand new story to read you also have the opportunity to write and read your own stories, create posters, design a card or decorate a photo. My daughter recreated The Secret Kitten on one of the posters which was a good exercise in observing details and practising fine motor skills. Copy and Colour also gives drawing and colouring practice, it requires concentration and a steady hand!
We’ve enjoyed the app activities that we’ve tried so far and the explanations are useful and easy to understand. The age range that the app is designed for is quite wide, little ones can enjoy memory and the maze game while older children have lots to keep them occupied with picture creation and reading and story writing to develop literacy skills.
Download the free Holly Webb Puppies and Kittens App here.