How much mischief can an invisible cat cause? Plenty, if that cat is Squishy McFluff.
While playing in the garden one day, a little white girl named Ava spies (or rather does not spy) something invisible. “This marvelous creature was fluffy and tiny, / As cute as a button, with eyes big and shiny, / A tail that swished proudly, first this way, then that. / A fabulous, friendly, invisible cat!” Ava and her new friend chase a pigeon (which gets away). Then she takes him in to meet her mum and introduces him as Squishy McFluff. Mum plays along, feeding Squishy some invisible fish, and all goes well…for a while. There’s marker on the curtains, paint on the carpet, and sweaters unraveled—all Squishy’s fault. Mum has lost patience with Squishy, but she finds it hard to send an invisible cat away. Happily, Great Grandad Bill visits to sweetly lay down the law. British rhymester Jones’ American debut riffs on the well-worn “imaginary friend/pet done it” theme in this early chapter book, the first in a series, but she does it all in rhyming couplets accompanied by Okstad’s peppy, pastel-colored pictures. In Book 2, Supermarket Sweep! (publishing simultaneously), Squishy creates mayhem in the market. Little Americans might need a translation or two, but Ava and Squishy will charm them nonetheless.
Readers will wish that they had a kitty to blame their misdeeds on when they’ve acted…naughty. (Fiction. 6-9)