An indoor kitty goes out to sea by mistake.
Bella comes from a long line of sea cats but has never ventured outdoors from the lighthouse where she lives. One day, however, she slips through a door and goes outside, heading down to the water’s edge. There, she hops into a tiny, empty sailboat, is blown out to sea, hitches a ride with a whale, elicits the help of an octopus and some crabs, and then, still lost as night falls, fortuitously hears her name called and finds her way back home. The visually well-designed pages incorporate hand-lettering both as a design element within the illustrations and to depict sounds, and it is these that save the stylized digital illustrations from feeling cold and sterile. The story has bits of humor but is essentially passive. Bella shows a distinct lack of curiosity about the world around her—curiosity won’t kill this cat—and is solely focused on getting home. Happily, she does. The last page, stating that Bella feels lucky to have gone to sea and made it home, feels tacked on and doesn’t add anything to the story. The front endpapers that show Bella dreaming about her seafaring ancestors, then inserting herself in her adventure on the rear endpapers do finish it, though.
Well-designed visuals hold up a somewhat flat story. (Picture book. 2-5)