A mouse flees a cat in a striking sequence of opposite pairs.
A lively rodent—so simply depicted in solid black that he is practically only ears, bright eyes and whiskers—grasps one end of what is seen on the title page to be a very large, orange ball of yarn. When the cat arrives—also solid black and all long legs, paws, tail and menacing eyes—the mouse takes off in a brief and spirited sprint through several different perspectives and their opposites. A wade through deep water for the mouse is a shallow splash for the pursuing cat. In a leap from a height, the mouse and a leaf as parachute seem light, but a row of tiny ants bearing the leaves aloft suggests the leaves could be heavy. And when the chase is nearly over, the cat having reached the mouse, the orange yarn plays a role: “Is it the end… / …or is it the beginning?” The limited palette and plenty of blank space serve to keep the story in motion: The solid black and orange forms of mouse, cat and yarn pop from the page with energy and pizzazz, while gray appears in the form of solid planes, water, rocks and the third character: a toothy bulldog.
Fun and uncomplicated as a story and concept book but sophisticated in visual impact, this is agreeably stylish graphic design for the very young. (Picture book. 2-5)