Every sailor needs a cat—but what to do with seven bad ones?!
“Today I put on / my boots and my coat, / and seven bad cats / jumped into my boat.” One eats from the little sailor’s lobster pots, and two others snooze on the oars. Three pester crabs while hanging from the gunwale, and four keep stealing the poor sailor’s gloves. Five claw the sails to ribbons, and when the sea gets rough, six get sick in a bucket. When the boat capsizes, throwing everyone into the sea, readers learn this sailor can’t swim! “Fourteen small paws / lifted me in their grip, / and seven good cats / rescued me to my ship!” And counting back down from there, those bad cats prove themselves pretty perfect pussycat pals. Bonneau’s debut as author/illustrator is a rhymed counting tale starring a rosy-cheeked white sailor of indeterminate gender in a yellow slicker and their seven cats colored red, orange, yellow, white, black, blue, and purple. The rhymed couplets roll like the waves, and the watercolor-and-ink illustrations, mostly full-bleed, double-page spreads, are pale, simple, and charming. The kitties’ curves as they leap and pounce (and play with everything) and the young sailor’s emotions are deftly displayed in just a few lines.
Captures the dual nature of the feline friend, often “bad” but always your buddy. (Picture book. 2-7)