A familiar story--cat gets out, has adventure, is glad to come home--is given new life by the beautifully composed illustrations of a gifted watercolorist new to children's books. Alice, a calico cat, climbs through the kitchen window, along a dizzying ledge past geraniums and pigeons, and down a tree to explore a Philadelphia park with a new friend in tiger stripes. What makes this special is the artist's narrative skill: each page tempts the eye to linger--on the cats fishing in the fountain, on the mellow cityscape, on the ubiquitous squirrels--yet, with masterly design and faultless pacing, each page also leads to the next illustration. Baker's lively blend of strong and delicate colors perfectly captures the light of a spring day. In her enthusiasm for architectural detail, the artist has perhaps been inattentive to the logical constraints of the street of row houses depicted on the title double spread; but this is a cavil about a lovely book from a fine new talent.