A young boy follows a cat through an unfamiliar apartment.
The plot of this wordless import from Slovenia is straightforward. Intrigued by a cat he sees slipping into an open door, a boy in a striped shirt enters an apartment building and follows the friendly feline up to the attic. Along the way, he finds a series of drawings and, eventually, discovers a potential friend. The atmospheric illustrations provide a complex counterpoint, with quirky details that reward multiple viewings and offer unexpected glimpses of (possibly) familiar objects for readers of all ages. Created in watercolor and making use primarily of blacks, browns, and reds, the pictures evoke an old-fashioned, Old World setting perfectly. Shadowy rooms and stairwells reveal books, artwork, toys, and creatures both benign and mysterious. Some adults may find the idea of an unsupervised child entering an unknown building disconcerting; others may find the illustrations somewhat creepy. Young viewers will be too busy poring over the intriguing components of each densely designed double-page spread to worry. Of particular interest, most likely, will be the pair of mice that appear throughout. Carrying out their own quixotic quest to crack a walnut, they ultimately put it to humorous use as pictured on the colophon.
Young and old alike will enjoy pondering what messages lurk in—and spill from—this captivating journey from street to sky, dark to light, solitude to companionship. (Picture book. 5-8)