“The Color Kittens” by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Alice & Martin Provensen (1949)

What…

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I mean, what?

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What on Earth IS this?

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I… I don’t… I mean, I just can’t… WHAT?!

Forgive me. I intend no disrespect to the late, great Ms. Brown, author of numerous classic children’s books, but… I mean, HONESTLY! This book makes no sense.

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Are the eponymous Color Kittens, Hush & Brush, the CREATORS of all the world’s colors? Certain portions of the narrative seem to indicate as much, and I will admit that it’s rather flattering to see felines – even young ones – depicted with such power.

But other portions of the narrative seem to indicate that the kittens are merely replicating pre-existing colors for themselves as a bit of a larf.

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Which is it? Are they godlike elemental beings, kittens who invented color at the dawn of time? Are they part of a long line of kittens responsible for giving the world its colors each and every day? Are they simply two anthropomorphic-but-otherwise-normal kittens learning their colors by painting on the walls? Ms. Brown, PLEASE! I don’t understand! What is meant by all this?

And how can a tale as simple as Captain Kitty (whose characters these kittens resemble in cat-ness) have such depths, while a tale as baffling as The Color Kittens leaves me at a total loss for words?

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I encourage all readers, cats especially, to pick up a copy of this children’s book and then TELL ME WHAT IT MEANS! Do I need to be on drugs to understand? What kind of parent would give their small children drugs simply to make a children’s book comprehensible?

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I SIMPLY DON’T UNDERSTAND!

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