A little girl is not prepared for the many moods of her new cat.
One day she turns up on the doorstep: the cat, that is, complete with tiny umbrella, bottle of milk, and fish-shaped shoulder bag. The cat moves in, making herself at home in that particularly feline way. “That’s fine,” thinks the little girl. She likes cats. But what about a name? “Kitty” sounds “just right,” but “Here, Kitty” summons dozens of cats. Several other names are tried—but all are sidelined when the vet tells her the new cat is a boy. What’s a good name for a male cat? Rambo? Rocky? He seems to like “Mr. Maestro,” but when the little girl begins to bang on some homemade instruments, he runs away. At the zoo, she shares her troubles with a friendly gorilla named Steve, who goes home with her and is a great pet! Until he’s taken away by the Bureau for Naughty Animals. Then, abruptly, the cat comes back, wearing a new collar that includes an appropriate name: Tricky! Bailey’s matte illustrations are a riot of color and activity, making the most of the chaos. The protagonist is white and the vet brown-skinned. Philip’s tale is certainly quirky—possibly too much so, as he seems to prioritize whimsy over sense.
Fun for one read, perhaps, but unlikely to elicit cries for more. (Picture book. 3-5)