We’re going way back in history for today’s children’s rhyme. According to Wikipedia, “Three Little Kittens” first appeared in a collection of poems written by Eliza Lee Cabot Follen called Little Songs for Little Boys and Girls in 1833. It was later absorbed into the Mother Goose collection.
Notably, Follen’s poem is “considered a cornerstone in the shift from moral literature for children to romantic literature intended to amuse and entertain.” Follen achieved this by emphasizing “fantasy involving anthropomorphic characters, verbal play, and satirical nonsense.”
There have been many, but the picture book version of “Three Little Kittens” that I grew up with was richly illustrated by Lillian Obligado.
I love how expressive Obligado’s kittens are each time they deliver a report (good or bad) to their mother on the state of their mittens. There’s even an implied spanking. :-O
Where did you first encounter the “Three Little Kittens”?