Cat lovers will recognize their favorite feline attributes (as well as those they’re less fond of) in this amusing “cat”-alog.
Presented as advice to a trio of new (kitten) residents from Buddy, a charming marmalade cat, the first-person narration pokes fun at peoples’ foibles and extols the virtues of cats large and small. One double-page spread contrasts the abilities and physiology of cats and humans; another shows the history of cats from their first appearance through the glories of Egypt and the bad times of the Dark Ages to the present day; a third showcases cats of all kinds from domesticated breeds to a lion, tiger, lynx and other big cats. Buddy also explains the mysteries of cat communication, from body language through the power of purrs, and provides a list of ways to keep caretakers on their toes (don’t miss the vignette that pays homage to Ezra Jack Keats’ Kitten for a Day). Talbott’s cartoon-style illustrations feature round-eyed kittens and a sly, smugly smiling Buddy. They lack detailed backgrounds, keeping the pages feeling clean. His human characters, a (stereo)typical family, are over-the-top in their admiration for Buddy, which adds to the humor and, along with the faux-instructional tone, creates continuity.
Ailurophobes won’t be swayed, but feline fanciers will lap this up and look forward to repeat servings. (Informational picture book. 4-8)