Thursday, June 4, 2015

Katie Loves the Kittens

Title:  Katie Loves the Kittens

Author:  John Himmelman
Illustrator:  John Himmelman
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Company ©2008
ISBN:  978-8050-8682-9
Grade Level:  Pre K-2

Book Review:  Sarah Ann brings home three new kittens. Katie, her dog, is so excited.  Katie loves the kittens but she scares them, resulting in some funny antics around the house. In a heartwarming tale of friendship, Katie wants to befriend the kittens, but they remain frightened of the caring, yet exuberant dog. Eventually the kittens come to Katie.  Read to find out how this changing dynamic brings resolution to the story. 

Systems Thinking Connections:
Habits: Recognizes the impact of time delays when exploring cause and effect relationships.  Time delay is a very difficult concept for young children.  This story provides a clear example of how the dog and cat relationship changes over time.  Many stories have a dynamic that occurs over time, but in this one time helps bring the situation of Katie and the kittens to a resolution.  Yet the time frame is short enough that young children can readily relate to what Katie learned and the adjustments she was able to make.
Changes perspectives to increase understanding.  Katie, the protagonist in this story, uses this habit in order to form a strong bond with the new kittens in her family.

Tools:  This simple straightforward story is great for introducing younger children to Behavior Over Time Graphs (BOTGs).  You can graph happiness, frustration or friendship, from the perspective of Katie, Sarah Ann or the kittens.  You can graph Katie's understanding of how to make friends with the kittens.  You can graph the kittens level of fear.  The variety of observable variables and different perspectives work together to make this an ideal text for teaching BOTGs to younger children.