Pretty pictures and a feel-good plot combine to create a pleasant, if not especially compelling, tale.
Cat, her three kittens, an old dog and an unnamed fisherman make up the cast of characters. Apparently strays, Cat and her family live under a bridge in an urban center (also pictured on the front endpapers). Colorful graffiti on the bridge supports offer greetings in a variety of languages as well as some mild in-jokes. (“Super Frog” is the title of a previous work, “Poppy” and “Scout” are, presumably, the pets to whom the book is dedicated, and other names are probably those of friends or relatives.) The action is straightforward and the tone, conversational. Cat, in search of fish to feed her family, gets trapped in a truck. An old dog ambles along looking for a place to sleep, briefly considers eating the kittens and then decides not to. Cat comes back from her unexpected seaside trip to find that her kittens and the dog have bonded. As always, the illustrations by veteran author-illustrator Foreman are attractive and atmospheric. Soft watercolor washes are particularly effective in the beach scenes (back endpapers included), but even the gritty city offers pink and yellow sunrises and starry blue skies overhead.
Though the happy ending is far from hard-won, cat fanciers and dog lovers will be pleased nonetheless. (Picture book. 4-7)