Is Lily’s soft, tiny kitty wreaking havoc, or might there be an escaped tiger lurking about?
Lily’s mother finds dogs messy and troublesome, but she’s happy to get a kitten. The small, wide-eyed fluffball flops backward for Lily to tickle his tummy, the very picture of innocence. But within moments of his arrival, the house is “a catastrophe.” The refrigerator shelves are broken, silverware drawers teeter precariously, and the kitchen’s covered in broken eggs and gnawed meat. “Naughty Kitty!” says Lily, but readers know better. Way back on the opening endpaper, a newspaper headline trumpets, “WILD ANIMAL LOOSE.” Details? “It was spotted this morning….‘It was NOT spotted,’ claims Miss Norah Muffin….‘It was most definitely striped.’ ” Those stripes appear near Lily’s garden gate and under the kitchen window. The tiger sneaks in and out, wrecking the house under Lily’s nose but behind her back, stealing a sausage right from her fork while she eyes the kitten, providing readers the uproarious delight of understanding the situation while Lily doesn’t. Emotionally counterbalancing the destruction, Stower’s illustrations feature pleasant colors with mild, watery shadings and steady outlines; Lily has round cheeks, and even the tiger’s stripes aren’t too dramatically dark. Two surprises keep giggles coming—and don’t skip the closing endpaper.
Funny enough to create sincere longings for a hapless house cat and its large rampaging cousin. (Picture book. 3-6)