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Baby Badger

Illustrated by Bev Johnson

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About The Book

From New York Times bestselling author Hannah Shaw—also known as Kitten Lady—comes the third book in an exciting and heartwarming chapter book series following a small cat who’s not sure what to make of new kitten arrivals!

All is quiet in the city as beings big and small find shelter from a snowstorm, except for one tiny squeak. It’s baby Badger, a newborn kitten with no momma to carry him to safety. He’s cold and so alone—until a helpful human finds him and brings him to the warmest place on earth: Fosterland.

There, baby Badger is still an orphan, but he has a cozy house filled with stuffed animal friends who become his family. With Miss Moose, Teddy, and Monsieur Crocodile by his side, Badger has everything he needs. Then, a cat named Mama Mia and her five kittens join him! And Badger isn’t sure what to think of his new roommates. They do all sorts of confusing things: the kittens eat from their mom instead of from a bottle like him, and they lick each other. So odd!

But as Leeni, Mia’s sassy and bold kitten, begins to befriend Badger, he’ll have a decision to make—stay in his cozy, safe space with his stuffed animals, or risk it all for a friendship with his potential new pals.

Excerpt

Chapter 1: A Cold, Dark World CHAPTER 1 A Cold, Dark World
Whoosh. A gust of freezing air blew through the streets, filling the alley with sparkly snow.

It seemed that everyone was hurrying inside to escape the winter storm that evening. The squirrels were hiding in their tree nests, the rabbits were fast asleep in their dens, and the pigeons were all cuddled together under the roof of the train station. The city was so still that the only sound was the whistle of the wind and one tiny squeak.

“Squeak.”

Mama Mouse was still out in the cold, but she was in a hurry, gathering bits of bread from the dumpster behind a restaurant for her and her son to carry back into the hidey-hole of some unsuspecting human’s attic.

The mice scurried along the edge of the dumpster, their arms filled with discarded crusts. “Listen, Mama!” the young mouse called out over the sound of garbage bags rustling in the wind. “Do you hear that?”

“Squeak.”

Mama Mouse paused, and then they both shimmied down the side of the bin to seek the source of the sound. There, beside the dumpster, lay a tiny frozen kitten named Badger.

“What is he, Mama? Is he a mouse?” asked the son.



Mama Mouse sniffed the trembling baby with her wiggly nose and jumped back. “We have to go now. Come along.”

Baby Badger tried to cry out for help, but all he could muster was another small squeak.

“But we can’t leave him! Can’t we bring him to the attic? He can share my bread crumbs.…,” said the son, lingering behind as his mom kept moving.

Mama Mouse turned around and gently nuzzled her concerned son. “Oh, my boy. That is no mouse. He may be our size, but that frosty being is a baby cat. And I’m afraid bread crumbs are not the food of choice for cats! No, no, this city will freeze over before I start inviting felines into our hidey-hole, tiny or not.”

The son looked back at the creature and frowned. “But, Mama, he’ll freeze.”

“Kittens belong with cats—and I’m sure his family is around here somewhere,” she said, pulling her son along the path.

“I feel sorry for him,” said the son, and as he scooted away on the icy street, he left a trail of bread crumbs behind in hopes that it would help the mama cat find him.

To think that a mouse could take pity on a cat! That should tell you the danger that Baby Badger—a newborn kitten no bigger than a snowball, all alone in a winter storm—was in. He couldn’t hear the wind, as his ears were still folded shut. He couldn’t see the snow, as his eyes were still closed. All he could sense was a light overhead, where a bright neon sign buzzed in the dark. He tried to scoot closer for warmth, but the sign was too far away and impossible to reach. All he could do was wish to be closer to its light.

“Squeak? Squeak?” he tried one last time, but he was losing strength and couldn’t muster words. As he huddled under the light of the neon star, his voice was fading into a silent whimper.

“Squeak.…”

For a moment, the alley was quiet again—until the distant crunch of footsteps in the snow drew near. Then a human bundled in scarves and gloves emerged from around the corner, following along the mysterious path of the bread crumbs.

About The Author

Photograph © Andrew Marttila

Hannah Shaw is an award-winning kitten rescuer, humane educator, and unwavering animal advocate who has dedicated her life to protecting the tiniest and most vulnerable felines. Her project, Kitten Lady, provides educational media and instructional workshops that help individuals and animal shelters learn how to save the lives of kittens—in a fun and engaging format. Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of Tiny but Mighty and Kitten Lady’s Big Book of Little Kittens. She is also the founder of Orphan Kitten Club, a 501(c)3 charitable organization which provides rescue and adoption services to orphaned kittens in the San Diego area. Visit her at KittenLady.org, YouTube.com/KittenLady, Facebook.com/KittenLady, and on Instagram at @KittenxLady.

About The Illustrator

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (January 10, 2023)
  • Length: 176 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665925556
  • Grades: 1 - 4
  • Ages: 6 - 9
  • Lexile ® 740L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
  • Fountas & Pinnell™ O These books have been officially leveled by using the F&P Text Level Gradient™ Leveling System

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