A dialogue between predator and prey upends the expected outcome of their encounter given their positions within the food chain.
Cat is ready to eat Bird, but the quick-thinking, diminutive creature has the sense to ask why. When the feline does not have a well-reasoned response, Bird suggests they become friends and sets out to show the surprised listener where to find the best box (for playing), the highest branch, and the most desirable car to hide under. Just as Cat is considering the possibilities, Bird raises reverse suitability questions. They finally decide to give it a go—until they realize they have nothing in common. Uncluttered, digital compositions are rendered in black (the cat) and white (the bird) on a taupe background; the type colors correspond to the respective characters, so there is no need for quotation marks or framing explanations. The caricatures are formed from stylized shapes with a limited range of expressions: The feline is essentially a rectangle topped with two curved, triangular ears, while the bird is a small white circle with wings, tail feathers, and thin legs. At the conclusion, the two discover that they both enjoy painting, so the palette expands as they render each other against a paint-splotched background.
It’s mildly diverting, but there are a host of more compelling explorations of what it takes to be friends. (Picture book. 4-6)