Alley Cat Rally

Ricky Trickartt. Flying Eye, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-83874-030-6
Asta, an orange feline, is deeply insulted when the drag-racing cats in her alley overtake her—one of them even calls her a slowpoke. In response, Asta reengineers the family washing machine into a roadster and signs on for the big cat auto race (a full spread maps the entire street course winding through the cats’ town). Asta’s vehicle is far from the oddest: one cat pilots a shopping cart, another takes the wheel of what appears to be a cross between a pickle and a squash. But Asta is triumphant—until she realizes she’s dreamed the whole thing while napping inside the washing machine. The story is short on character development, and the “then they woke up” ending will frustrate invested readers. But graphic artist Trickartt’s pictures, rendered in the flat, sharp colors and stylized crispness of vector art, have lots of fizz and detail. He’s especially good at breaking down the action so readers can savor the story’s progress, whether it’s Asta’s creation of her souped-up washer (that cat knows how to weld) or the stages of the race itself, with its breakneck speeds, hairpin turns, and wipeouts. Ages 3–7. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/13/2021
Release date: 07/06/2021
Genre: Children's
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