A rhyming picture book about a cat with beauty pageant aspirations, Miss Great Kitten presents an upbeat story about pursuing your dreams.
The plot follows Kitty C, a sweet, even-tempered, anthropomorphic cat who dreams of being a beauty queen while advising readers to ignore bullies and “eat chocolate instead” of indulging in envious feelings. Kitty C, however, desires external validation, as seen by her goal of winning pageants.
While clothes shopping with her mom one day, Kitty C sees a poster for a “Miss Great Kitten Bathing Beauty” contest and decides to participate. The criteria aren’t explored, but Kitty C wins first place, making a few friends along the way.
The story encourages young readers to follow their dreams and to ignore obstacles, such as bullies, that might get in their way. The idea of a beauty pageant, however, feels a bit dated, and the tale doesn’t illustrate any lessons in hard work, practice or recovery from failure. Kitty C wins the first contest she enters and doesn’t think about how to compete beyond deciding that the bathing suit she already owns is perfect.
The illustrations are simple and effective, but not particularly inventive or polished. Additionally, the writing lacks refinement; for example, there are spelling mistakes (i.e., “naught” vs. “naughty”) and jumps from third person to first person without quotation marks in consecutive sentences (“On Wednesday for their trip to Moreambe Bay,/ Let’s go by bus that seems the best way”).
Miss Great Kitten shines a positive light on proactively pursuing your dreams, but its focus on looks, lackluster character development and limitations in illustrations ultimately hamper its effectiveness.
Also available as an ebook.