A serene suburban tableau cleverly describes the separate, exciting adventures of a bird, a cat and a dog, each the hero of its own story.
In one of these stories, a lemon-yellow bird seeks freedom from its cage and finds itself encountering fierce raptors and a curious cat. In a neighboring backyard, an orange cat craves adventure outside of its fence, meeting a wily feral opponent. Nearby, a tough-looking gray dog strives to guard its doghouse from intruders and maintain peace. Readers, be advised, don't let the seemingly simple, wordless nature of this offering fool you: This innovative charmer can be read four different ways. There is the bird's story, soaring across the top panels in bright, cheerful azure tones, which can be read alone. Similarly, there are the cat's escapades, creeping across the middle panels against a richly verdant palette, and the dog's tale, in ochre, earth tones, marching across the bottom. Each animal's adventure could be read individually, or all three could be read traditionally, left to right and then top to bottom, following each of the nine panels that occupy most of the pages. Multiple readings are not only expected, they are required.
Stylish and inventive and an excellent examination of point of view. (Graphic adventure. 4-8)