Attractive illustrations, gentle humor and a large but satisfying coincidence propel this first effort toward a happy ending.
The plot is simple. A beloved cat, left behind in the bustle of moving, first tries to catch up then considers a variety of options before finding the perfect new home. Mader matter-of-factly describes Slipper the cat’s wanderings and adds a touch of humor to the potentially poignant tale by assigning names to human characters based on their footwear. Shown from Slipper’s vantage point, the pictures likewise focus on feet, from the cat’s original owner, Mrs. Fluffy Slippers, through strangers that include the friendly Ms. Muddy Boots, intimidating High Tops and noisy Mr. Big Boots to the warmly welcoming Miss Shiny Shoes. Mader’s realistic drawings, created with pastels, are particularly effective when a single image dominates the page (Mr. Big Boots’ shiny red motorcycle on one spread, Slipper herself on another). While occasionally somewhat static, they add charm to the straightforward story and effectively portray both setting and characters. In at least one instance—a double-page spread that shows Slipper’s silhouette, small and far off, engulfed by the dark forest around her—the pictures also add an emotional resonance that is mostly missing from the brisk text.
Given the appealing subject matter, tightly focused visual storytelling and feel-good resolution, Slipper’s adventures will likely find an enthusiastic audience, particularly among feline fanciers. (Picture book. 4-7)