cover image Mister Kitty Is Lost!

Mister Kitty Is Lost!

Greg Pizzoli. Little, Brown, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-3160-5654-0

The eponymous feline is “hiding somewhere in this book,” relays a frantic child, portrayed with light skin and brown pigtails. “Will you turn the pages and help me look?” In dimensional construction paper cutouts decorated with marker and pen, the child enumerates a set of the missing cat’s characteristics on each verso page (“Mister Kitty has 5 yellow spots”) and holds up the appropriate number of fingers. The recto shows those colors within die-cut shapes (“Do you see five yellow spots?”) as the child’s trusty black and white dog barks out the number. But much to the consternation of the seeking duo, a page turn reveals a species that’s very different from Mister Kitty—in the case of the spots, it’s five slithery yellow snakes. The countdown and startling reveals continue until the child reaches “one pink nose,” at which point Pizzoli (the Jack books) has one more trick up his sleeve: the nose does indeed belong to the beloved Mister Kitty, who turns out to take a slightly different form than readers may have expected. The blend of gentle meta humor and interactivity has “preschooler” written all over it. Ages up to 3. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.)