Using only slight variations of the “meow” of the title as dialogue, Ying (Lost and Found, What’s That Sound?
) follows an anthropomorphic gray kitten around his house as he looks for someone to play with. “Meow?” says the kitten imploringly to his parents and older sister, holding out a yellow ball of yarn. Their preoccupation with other activities sends the kitten into a funk (“mrreow...”), and he angrily unspools the yarn all over the house. A time-out (“Meow
!!” say his mother and father, pointing emphatically to a small chair) and a mewled apology let everyone reboot. Younger children should appreciate the idea that just because others don’t want to play right at this moment doesn’t mean they never will. The cute-as-a-button characters and soft, furry textures of Ying’s digital paintings never become sticky-sweet, perhaps because she has a way of turning the cat’s large eyes into black pools of fury. She also gets excellent mileage out of her “meows”—readers will relish how many emotional shadings a single word can have. Ages 4–8. Agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (Oct.)