Four whimsical cartoon outings feature an overlapping cast of small anthropomorphic animals artfully placed to lead eyes up, down, around and past page turns to mishaps and surprises.
Doug (a duck) and Mouse, plainly a pair of adrenalin junkies, open with a looping airplane flight, go on to pose in 24 adventuresome settings laid out on a single spread, then take a boat ride that ends up under water. The titular cat joins the intrepid travelers for an underground pizza party, steps out himself to try on 32 different occupational outfits—again on a single spread—and goes on to a series of amusing experiments in a chemistry lab and elsewhere. In the third episode, rabbit-eared Connie spends a day in a Rube Goldberg–ian mechanical house, attends a birthday party and enjoys a spaghetti dinner at a trattoria—before an extra-long strand leads to an extremely long slurp. In the final chapter, elderly Mr. and Mrs. Hamhock wait at the bus stop through night and day and through seasons, a vignette clearly inspired by Waiting for Godot. Both the sight gags and the characters’ comical responses are easy to track in Martz’s flat, minimally detailed, graphic-style art.
Visual learners and younger children alike will pore delightedly over these nearly wordless sequences. (Picture book. 3-7)