While searching for the titular cat on seven different continent maps, readers will encounter famous sights, products, cultural customs, and other interesting objects.
Two pages with paragraphs describing a few illustrated items precede each double-page–map spread, which bristles with them, including the aurora borealis (counted as one of Europe’s attractions), the Chinese terra-cotta army (Asia), and the Halley VI research station (Antarctica). There are no political boundaries, and the stylized maps are somewhat skewed to fit the page size, which is large but not big enough for the scale of some. Mexico, for instance, is barely distinguishable on the map of North America. Many interesting visuals have no explanation, and without country labels, it will be difficult even for many adults to help young readers figure out what some of these pictures represent. For example, there is no text about the whirling dervishes of Turkey, members of a Sufi religious order, illustrated in their distinctive white clothing. Turkey, which is located in both Europe and Asia, is pictured here in Europe. Some kids will be fascinated and possibly resourceful enough to do some research to find out more about the objects, animals, and people not described, but many will be frustrated by the experience. An answer key to the cat’s location is given on the last page, but the feline almost seems to be an afterthought.
Readers would be far better served by a good beginning atlas. (Nonfiction. 8-10)