Can Ben get his cat back?
While playing “tickle and chase across the page” with Ben, the boy’s rather large gray tabby cat vanishes into the gutter between pages even though Ben has presumably just run across it without incident. The string of the cat toy Ben was holding appears stuck in the break between pages. Bella happens along with her hula hoop and, claiming to have seen this before, goes in to investigate. A search-and-rescue truck that specializes in cats goes in next…then a rescue dog and a helicopter. At this point Ben decides he’ll have to do the job himself—and the book sneezes out the “book-tickling fluffy mouse” even as he disappears. Ben sends out instructions for readers to tickle the book and then turn the page, and the book eventually sneezes almost everyone out—but Ben’s cat it is now held aloft by its rapidly spinning tail. Clearly it’s the book’s fault. This outing is an unnecessary feline companion to This Book Just Ate My Dog (2015). Not only is it unclear why Ben can cross the gutter and others can’t, but it’s also hazy as to why the book sneezes the mouse toy out when it’s had it inside for several pages. Far better interactives are available. Ben and Bella are both white.
A metafictive miss. (Picture book. 2-7)