A courageous cat saves a bunny from a sinister feline in this short stories series opener.
TORC, a long-furred, black-and-white house cat, dreams of a bigger world. But an adventure is happening right outside his door: Greedy Tom is threatening a baby bunny. TORC hurries to the rescue (an action shot of the two cats shows the otherwise realistic-looking hero in a flying kung fu pose). Using untagged dialogue, Nona (TORC the CAT Discovers North America Part 1, 2019) switches from TORC’s narration to Greedy Tom’s, detailing their ongoing rivalry and delivering a melodramatic, clichéd promise: “You foiled me again, but we will meet again!” Once Greedy Tom leaves, TORC provides the bunny with a name, Mr. Lucky, and introduces him to some local rabbits, who adopt him. Because the narration is presented in the first person, but the perspective switches multiple times without the text indicating the speaker, newly independent readers may be baffled by the structure. For lap readers, the fun tale, with grown-ups supplying distinctive voices, presents a clear hero and a dastardly villain, along with an adorable bunny to be saved. (The hero is now the star of two picture-book series: TORC Discoveries and TORC the CAT short stories.) Nona’s realistic, painterly illustrations capture TORC’s expressions and movements perfectly, and interactions with the cute bunny are sure to be appreciated by young animal lovers. An afterword tells the true story behind this yarn.
A rescue tale offers gorgeous paintings of animal characters and some awkward narration.