A ginger cat introduces young viewers to his personal house and world.
“I am Jim. // This is my house.” Starting from the tree outside, this feline tour guide jumps to the roof, then down to ground level to climb in a window, sit in a rocker in “my living room,” and stroll from kitchen to bedroom to bathroom and litter box. A noise at the door leads to an introduction to Jane, who “makes my dinner,” and then it’s back to the tree for a final survey of the suburban neighborhood. Painted in vividly contrasting colors and with thick architectural elements modeled to look like sculpted clay, the house and its furnishings seem almost archetypal in their simple solidity. But for all the elemental visual appeal of the illustrations, it’s a dull tour, without much to see beyond the generic and none of the visual surprises that animate Barton’s recent My Bus (2014) and My Bike (2015). Even Jim seems bored, concluding with a listless “I like my home. Meow.”
The targeted diaperati will likely be similarly enervated by this bland open house. (Picture book. 1-3)