APRIL’S KITTENS (1940)
APRIL’S KITTENS (1940), CLARE’S FIRST CALDECOTT, was published and has been in print ever since. The heroine, April, was a real little girl who lived next door to Stephen and Clare, and she really wrote the Song for Cats at the end of the book. By now Clare’s work was so popular that the publisher added an extra print of one of the kittens that could be removed and framed.
When I began to write this book, I actually found the real April who sent me photographs of herself, her kitties, and the rooftop that are all described in my mother’s book. I shared this with my brother, Stephen, who was “Geoffrey” in the book. He had been about ten years old when they lived next door to April and he recalled he’d had a crush on her and wanted to write April, too.
When APRIL’S KITTENS won the coveted Caldecott Award, the reviewers went wild:
“Mrs. Newberry is the paragon of cat portraitists,” declared The New Yorker.
“The pictures in her distinctive sooty blacks and smoky grays are, if possible, even better and more beguiling…” The New York Times
“An irresistible tale…the illustrations are extraordinary, both as stunning cat pictures and beautiful decorations…our favorite for 1940.”