In Bakus’ children’s chapter book, a cat and a skunk set out on a picaresque journey.
A bizarrely named white Persian cat, Puss-a-Too-Too, longs to explore the world and invites her odorless skunk friend, Skunk-a-Pedius, to be her traveling companion. In an unassuming tale, they meet and observe a motley collection of humans and animals along the way. Their journey takes them to a farm, where a dog has ruined a baseball game by stealing first base, and later to a river, where a fisherman offers them a share of his catch. They witness a Wildlife Service employee battling raccoons that have infested an old lady’s house, and they attend a colorful circus in which a brave camel helps put out a small kerosene fire—by spitting on it. Overall, the book has a certain charm; D’Argo’s full-color illustrations are particularly fine, with a rich, bold palette perfect for conjuring circus big tops and trains. However, the photographs of raccoons in the middle of the story seem out of place. Bakus also overexplains some details; for example, a “Jobs for Men” newspaper ad lining a bird’s nest is described as “reminding the father bird that taking care of baby birds is a job for the dad, not just for the mother.” These are small adventures—the kind that little children sometimes have when they see aspects of the world for the first time. Puss and Skunka often unnecessarily reflect that they’re having interesting, memorable encounters, but their adventures will still likely appeal to beginning readers.
A readable chapter book, full of fine illustrations and quirky scenes, for young readers graduating from picture books.