Author Skinner and illustrator Dohm (Anytime Is Party Time for Eugene the Mouse, 2018, etc.) return with an ode to quiet walks from a cat’s point of view.
Bandit, a large gray-and-tan–striped tabby, enjoys looking at a garden through the window of his home. He also enjoys walking outside and watching fish swim in a pond, frogs jumping, and butterflies alighting on flowers; he also observes insects, a lizard, and a turtle. Although he does pounce at a cricket and a snake, he’s otherwise content to simply watch or to dream about playing with a mouse. The gorgeous colors in Dohm’s peaceful watercolor paintings give the garden a lush feel. However, the sizes of objects and creatures sometimes seem disproportionate—the cricket is almost as large as Bandit, and the cat looks human-sized in a chair. Some of Skinner’s verbs are a bit challenging (“observed”; “ambled”), and although most of the story is about a specific walk in a garden, other moments feel less grounded in time: “As the cat wandered...he would often see an insect.” Overall, the text has a meditative tone, making it an excellent choice for a bedtime book.
A calming book for lap readers, but newly independent readers may find some of its language to be difficult.