Pocket Dogs and the Lost Kitten by Margaret Wild and Stephen Michael King

A review by Nalini Haynes

The Pocket Dogs and the Lost Kitten is about two toy dogs who love their carer, Mr Pockets, but a stray kitten moves in. At first the pocket dogs are happy to welcome the kitten. Then they get jealous, fearing they will be displaced. Mr Pockets talks to them, explaining that they are all different, he loves them all, and the new kitten needs a home. Eventually they live happily ever after.

This is a picture book done in pen and watercolour I think, with simple figures and action to keep younger readers entertained. The text is a slightly uneven serif font and not overly large so it’s probably more for parents to read to children than for children to read themselves. This is a benefit because the story is really an allegory for a new child joining a family; as such it’s best for parents to sit with the older children, read together and discuss the parallels to reassure them and help them learn to embrace the new family member.

The Pocket Dogs and the Lost Kitten is highly recommended to help young children understand and accept the disruption of their ordered world when welcoming a new sibling.

The artist, Stephen Michael King, has an engaging website that could be fun for children to explore.