If a human can be very good at understanding Cat, how about the other way round?
“When Tom met Tallulah he was extremely shy—too shy to even come out of his box.” Tallulah knows what to do. She gives him a saucer of milk and a tour of the house (map of great places to catnap included). She shows him his cat door and makes him a toy. She is so good at understanding him, Tom wants to “learn Human.” He studies what she does and takes notes. When Tom perfects being a human, he finds Tallulah needs training to be a better cat. With patience she comes along nicely. That’s when he takes her to the pet shop to exchange her for a puppy. British illustrator Reeve’s solo effort, published under the title When Tom Met Tallulah in her native country in 2013, is a bit odd. The illustrations are charmingly silly, but the story baffles. The title page reads “Tom and Tallulah are not exactly best friends right now….” It’s hard to know whether that’s before she brings him home in that box or if it follows his training her to be a dog, which is what appears to be happening in the final illustration despite his having exchanged her at the pet shop.
This may satisfy absurdist kitty fans but leave others scratching their heads. (Picture book. 3-7)