The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee: Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

Author Laurie Cinotto’s book, “The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee,” based on her award-winning blog of the same name, is not only a colorful pictorial history sharing oodles of adorable images of the many kittens she’s fostered, but it’s also a guide to help young readers (ages Grade 3 to Grade 6) learn how to care for their own cats.

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IBKC is beautifully laid out. As a Graphic Designer, I especially appreciate the lovely typography and design of the book. It’s an easy read for an adult, as would be expected, but I still found myself getting carried away as each story reminded me of many of the cats I've fostered over the years. It's impossible to read this book without having a smile on your face.

There are also special sections highlighting different aspects of kitten care, without going into too much detail for a child to absorb. The photos are real show-stoppers, making it difficult to choose a favorite—probably like picking a favorite kitten from a litter, you just can’t do it.

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I shared an advance copy of the book with Hanna, an 8-yr old whose family had just adopted their first cats from my rescue, Kitten Associates. Although she was a bit too young to understand the information completely, she was delighted and giggled at some of the photos. Her father helped her go through the book and was thrilled to have something on hand that he could refer to to help Hanna understand the basics of kitten care. He mentioned he planned on reading the book to Hanna as part of their bedtime ritual and that she would be taking it to “sharing day” at school.

Based on Hanna’s reaction to IBKC it was clear that shelters and rescues could also benefit from selling copies of this book to new adopters with young kids.

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I had the good fortune to be able to ask Ms. Cinotto a few questions about her book and about life as a foster mom:

CiCH: What was your inspiration to begin fostering kittens and did you foster for more than one place before you found a good fit?

LC: We moved into a new neighborhood and met our neighbors, Kim and Sarah, who were fostering our now permanent resident cat, Charlene Butterbean. Prior to that, I didn’t even know that foster programs for animals existed. We got see a few litters come and go at their house, and eventually we decided to try our hand at it too.

CICH: What do you tell people who ask you: "how you can let those foster kittens go? Doesn't it break your heart? Do you want to keep them all?"

LC: It is hard to say goodbye, but that’s just part of the process. It has gotten a little bit easier over the years, but still, it’s never easy and sometimes there are tears.

We’ve been lucky to find some really amazing families to adopt our kittens, and knowing the kittens are going to be loved and well cared for by these fine folks, makes it all bearable.

There are been a few extra-special ones that we could have easily kept, but we just can’t do that. We need to keep our cat population at a reasonable number if we want to continue to foster.

CICH: I see it says your book is for middle grade readers. Would you also suggest it for younger kids or adults? If so, why? Why did you choose this level of reader? Was that on purpose?

LC: I think it’s appropriate for kitten lovers of all ages! I’ve shared it with adults and young children too, and they all seem to enjoy it. It’s packed with lots of photos of adorable kittens, which works for any age group!

I had many conversations with my editor about what this book could be. We knew it would be for kids – Roaring Brook Press publishes children’s books – but it took some time before the full idea took shape. Once it did, we decided on what the age of the audience should be and tailored the content for that.

CICH: Do you mostly take on whatever fosters your shelter gives you or do you find kittens who need help?

LC: Once our kittens leave our nest, I’ll let the shelter know that we’re ready to receive more, and they let us know who is available. Sometimes we get kittens that need a little more help than others – they have medical issues, or need help transitioning from bottle to solid food. Sometimes they need help with socialization.. Sometimes they just need a little bit of time to get bigger.

We’re happy to take on whatever or whomever they send our way. Each batch is different when they arrive, but all leave happy, healthy, social and trusting.

CICH: Do you often face having to medicate sick or injured cats? Were any of them remarkable in how much care they needed? Perhaps more so than you could include in a book for kids? Can you give an example of one or two of those kitties?

LC: With each litter, there’s usually a medical issue or two to deal with. We’ve seen a lot of diarrhea, vomiting, fleas, ear mites and upper-respiratory infections. We’ve had to give many rounds of antibiotics and lots of sub q fluids over the years.

The transition from wherever they were before, to the shelter, and then to our home can be stressful on their little bodies. We are fortunate to have great vet staff at our shelter to guide us through any issues we have.

The biggest challenge we have ever faced was with the last litter we fostered. One of the kittens, Filbert, came to us with the Panleukopenia virus, which sadly took his life. It’s a highly contagious, so after his passing, we were quite worried it would take his sisters down too. They survived, thank goodness, but later we discovered that his sister Wylla had a condition called Megaesophagus. With this condition, she didn’t have the muscle tone in her esophagus to push food into her stomach, and she regurgitated nearly everything she ate. It took many trips to the vet to diagnose her condition, and a lot of work to learn to manage it.

Eventually, we decided we would keep her. After all we went through with Wylla, we just couldn’t say goodbye.

CICH: How did you get your book idea sold? Did the publishers come to you or did you have an agent?

LC: My editor had been following the blog, and when I mentioned on Twitter that I had dreams of publishing a book, she contacted me.

CICH: What is the one thing you hope results from kids reading your book?

LC: I hope it makes them happy. This parade of kittens that has passed through our home has brought a tremendous amount of joy into our lives. I want others to experience that same joy.

I also hope they’ll take a way some good practical information and become responsible and respectful pet owners.

-------------

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If you’d like to win a copy of The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee simply leave a comment in this post to enter and make sure you LIKE our Facebook Page

ONE entry will be CHOSEN AT RANDOM to WIN. You may only leave ONE comment for ONE CHANCE to win per person. This Giveaway ends Wednesday, MARCH 26, 2014 at 11:11 PM EST and is open to residents of the USA, only (sorry guys!). Rules, quantities and whatever else I forgot are subject to change without notice. WINNER will be notified via email. If you do not respond within 48hrs another winner will be chosen.

UPDATE: Due to the great response to this post I will be awarding a book to TWO LUCKY WINNERS-NOT ONE!

The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee is available for purchase for $12.99 (list price) for a softcover version or less for Kindle and other e-readers at Amazon and other outlets.

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Comments

Wish I lived close enough to

Wish I lived close enough to adopt from IBKC. Cute book and nice interview! 

Love IBKC. Great article.

Love IBKC. Great article. Thanks for the giveaway!!  

Adorbs.

Filling this out for my momma, Jessica.  She loves IBKC and has followed them for years. 

ADDORABLE!

Thanks for the chance to win this absolutely adorable book! I am a foster mother for our own humane society in Frankfort, Indiana and love to see the little ones go to their fur-ever home:) Yes, sometimes its sad but when you see pictures or talk to the parents, everything is right with the world:)  Love the IKBC too!

much love

we love wylla! we are so glad that there are such sweet hoomins like laurie too :)

Love the IBKC

and YOUR Facebook page!

Everyone should know the joys of being covered in cat hair. Thanks for all the joy YOU bring!

Adorables!

LOVE the IBKC! 

IBKC book!

Just discovered this great blog, and I"d love to win a copy of the IBKC book! :) 

Great!

I just discovered your site through the IBKC. I'm adding you to my daily list of reads. Always love to read another good cat blog :) Oh and yep, now I get to read your FB site too! :)

IKBC

Great interview.  Love the IKBC!

great interview!

thanks for the spotlight on the IBKC!!

great interview!

great interview!

Love it!

I was directed here from IKBC, and I love your blog! I liked it on Facebook. I would also love to win this book, although I will buy it if I don't win ;)

Awesome!

I have been following IBKC for a while now and would love to have the book!  Thank you for a chance to win!

I love the IBKC!

Pick meeee!!!!

Love the IBKC!

Pick meeee!!!

I am a follower of the IBKC

I am a follower of the IBKC and a loyal fan of Wylla Stout and Charlene Butterbean.  I was privileged to meet Wylla in person last summer and I will never forget her! Hoping to see her this year...

IBKC FTW!

Thanks for doing the interview with IBKC!

KITTENS!! I so admire

KITTENS!! I so admire Laurie's ability to get the photos she gets of her kittens.. I wish her gobs of success with her book

LOVE the IBKC

Laurie deserves all the best with her love of the kitties, her creativity and wonderful photography. I'm thrilled for her to see this come to fruition!

Meowy Hugs,

Robin & Minnie (my 19 yo kitty!)

IBKC Book Giveaway

I would love to win this book.  I am always interested in learning new things about kittens.

IBKC Book Giveaway

I would love to win this book.  I am always interested in learning new things about kittens.

Great book!

Sounds like a great book!

IBKC

This book sounds so great. Wish I would have had one before my first round of itty bitty kitties!

Hurray for IBKC!

Yay IBKC! Yay Laurie! Kittens and the IBKC are for all ages!

Congratulations on the book,

Congratulations on the book, Laurie! Your efforts have helped ensure new homes not just for the cuties who've passed through your home, but for so many animals at the shelter, through your annual fundraiser. You have the best kitten photos on the web!

IBKC

That looks like a lovely book. I'm gonna get one for home and one for my classroom at school!

Book

Win or buy, I shall have this book!!!

IBKC FTW!

Been following the blog for years! I know my daughter would love a copy (and I'm sure I'd sneak a peek (or two (OR MORE!))).

Yay! Kitten Book.

Yay! Kitten Book.

Love these kitties

I just love following all the kitties and especially Charlene and Wylla. I can't wait until more kitties arrive!

IBKC

I would treasure Laurie's book and read it out loud to all eight of my cats and to all the cats at the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter here in Tucson!!!

IBKC rocks!

I love reading Laurie's blog and she has done so much good for the kitties over the years. I really want to read this book and see photos of all of the foster babies again.

Kitties for my kiddies!

We have 3 cats and 2 kids - would love to share this with all of our 'babies'!

How wonderful!

this book sounds so good & and a great resource for helping kids understand what kittens need & how to take care of them.  And cute kitten pictures NEVER hurt!

IBKC Book Giveway

IBKC does so much wonderful work - both at a local level and through the internet, on a global scale.  Keep up the good work Laurie!

IKBC :)

What a neat idea for a book! Pick me!  Pick me!  We have 12 adopted kitties and 2 Great Danes.  ♥

I love the IBKC!  The kittens

I love the IBKC!  The kittens who are fostered there always seem to be so well-adjusted.  I wish I lived in the area so I could adopt one!

would love to have this book

Laurie is a great hero of mine!

Thanks so much for sharing

Thanks so much for sharing this interview!

IBKC Book Giveaway

I love the IBKC and everything Laurie does for the betterment of animals - mostly kitties!
 If  I win this book, I will read the crap out of it, over and over.

Thanks for the opportunity!

I'm so happy that Laurie

I'm so happy that Laurie could share her photos, stories, and kitten knowledge with a wider audiance.  I love the IBKC blog, and support their fundraiser every year. I would love to win a copy of the book!

I think this little book is

I think this little book is yet another kindness and blessing from Laurie -- her loving care of the fosters is one;  her consummate skill as a photographer of kitties (unequalled!) is another;  her gift of naming babies stands out;  her being the connection between a community of unabashed catlovers is appreciated....and now a book in which we can find our favorites and learn something and continue adoring -- well, that's Laurie.  THANK YOU, Laurie!  Megwiitch!  Merci!  Gracias!  Todah!

I love the IBKC blog and all

I love the IBKC blog and all the work Laurie and her husband do to make sure kittens having a fighting chance at a happy forever ♥♥♥

Oh, me me me!!

I would love to win a copy of IBKC. Pick me, pick me!!

Contest comment

I love Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, and now I look forward to exploring your blog, too. My two current cats were adopted from our local shelter as kittens, and they had been fostered before they came to us. They are the best cats we've ever had, and I've always dreamed of someday fostering kittens myself; blogs like these continue to inspire me. Thanks!  Kathy

I would love to win this

I would love to win this book!

Adorable book!

I follow the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee and love their antics, their beauty, and above all, the care that Laurie and Craig give them. This book will be treasured for the photos as much as the tips on kitty care. I hope this book inspires more families to foster kittens and cats. 

Love it

I love Laurie's blog and will no doubt love the book as well (even though I am outside the targeted age :))

Love the IKBC!

I'm a longtime follower of the IBKC and am so happy for Laurie that this vision has come together! She has been such a champion for fostering and adopting, and is a huge inspiration to me and my family.

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