While the cat’s adventures ultimately prove a bit ho-hum, the art and the cat’s joie de vivre are enticing.

HOW ABOUT A NIGHT OUT?

Join a city cat on a vibrant nocturnal adventure.

While “lap cats are lazy cats, / who only sleep on hallway mats,” this “city kitty” would rather make a little noise out on the town! Told in catchy couplets, the poem catalogs the cat’s nighttime excursion through the urban environment, whether it’s meeting other feline friends to “catercall upon the wall” or starting a rollicking prowl for owls and pigeons. But while the cat narrator may be exuberant about its feline-centric exploits, human readers might be less enamored of what is essentially a rhyming list of generic, cat-related activities. Though the cat proclaims it a “night to sing about,” there is no grand adventure centering the narrative, and the unceremonious arrival of morning, announced when people start to “put the garbage out,” makes the cat’s night out—and the whole story—feel like a bit of a letdown. With wild, round goldenrod-colored eyes, a sleek striped body, and bottlebrush tail, the partying kitty gleams against the deep-black night sky and bustling cityscapes. Flat colors reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats’ palette allow the lit windows and cat silhouettes to shine, and the large-headed, sly-looking cats that move fluidly across the pages are perfectly matched to the playful rhythm.

While the cat’s adventures ultimately prove a bit ho-hum, the art and the cat’s joie de vivre are enticing. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-912757-14-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boxer Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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