A stray cat finds a new home after hopping onto a passing bus.
A simply drawn calico cat stares out from the cover of Kim’s debut. After investigating the contents of an outdoor trash can, the cat ventures into an open doorway. A storekeeper shoos the cat back out, leaving it to sit disconsolately on the sidewalk. As snow begins to fall, a bus pulls up, but the bus driver is unwelcoming. Then a second bus arrives. Snuggled onto an empty seat, the cat is joined by an elderly Asian gentleman who carries it home to a young girl, probably his granddaughter. The text is extremely brief, only 15 words. Most are noises (the “clang” of the trash can, the “whoosh!” of the bus door), a few are simple phrases (“Scat, cat!”), and there’s one rumbling “Purrrrrrrrrr.” The artwork combines pastels and colored pencils with digital techniques. Double-page spreads, single pages, vignettes, and panels offer plenty to look at and convey the storyline clearly. Black outlines and somewhat blocky shapes give the art a childlike feel, while muted colors reinforce the wintry setting. Faces are occasionally awkwardly drawn, but residents of the city are ethnically and racially diverse, and the inclusion of a female African-American bus driver is particularly welcome.
This sweet, nearly wordless tale is likely to find an appreciative audience among cat lovers and children just beginning to sound words out on their own. (Picture book. 3-6)