Children’s Book Review: Jack the Kitten is Very Brave, by Tabitha Smith

[Reviewed by J’Rie B. Elliott]

If the word ‘adorable’ was looked up in the dictionary, it would have a picture of Jack the pirate kitten as a definition. The children’s book, Jack the Kitten is Very Brave, written by Tabitha Smith and illustrated by Mindy Lou Hagan is a winner. The story begins with a small tabby kitten named Jack who longs to be a brave and fierce pirate. His only problem is his distinct fear of the water. How can Jack be a brave pirate and be scared of the water? His brother Machu loves the water and his brother too and while taking a bath decides to end his brother’s fear. This is a wonderful tale of courage, brotherly love and how to overcome what ever fears you are facing.

The illustrations in the book are ‘spot on’. They are detailed and colorful with a childish flair that makes children want to read the story to go along with the pictures. One picture that I found to be cleverly done is a reflection picture in the middle of the story. The reflection in the rippling water is beautiful even from an adult standpoint.

I was asked to review this book, and eagerly accepted the task. However I did not feel completely qualified to review it alone as I have not been a child for years. This being the case I shanghaied some of the intended audience to assist me in this endeavor; my own son and daughter. I gave them Jack the Kitten is Very Brave before they retired for bed and let them read it; without telling them any details or reasons why. The next day I asked “What did you think of the story?” My son–whom we call ’Professor’– began to tell me the story and how he liked the details of the illustrations within the book. He liked how the letters changed colors–half white, half black–when printed across a pirate flag. After my son’s explanation I turned to my daughter, who told me the story–again in amazing detail–and then asked me a question of her own, “Can I keep it?” From other children this may not sound like much, but she changes library books weekly and rarely wants to keep a book after she is finished with it. I asked her why she wanted this particular book. Her answer spoke volumes, “I liked it.”

The reviewer, J’Rie B. Elliott, may be reached at Please see the below links to purchase the book.

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2 thoughts on “Children’s Book Review: Jack the Kitten is Very Brave, by Tabitha Smith

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