Satoshi Kitamura, . . FSG, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-31455-2

Kitamura (Angry Arthur) wittily depicts cats as easygoing layabouts in these cinematic comics. In "Operation Fish Biscuit," the marmalade-colored Boots schemes to clear a brick wall of napping felines so he can snag a spot for himself. In play-by-play panels, Boots gets a bag of treats from a cupboard and leaves it on a nearby roof. "This is a necessary sacrifice," he mutters. When his dozing friends catch a whiff ("It must be fish biscuits!"), they form a "cat pyramid" to reach the loot, then teeter and fall with wry commentary ("Timber!" "How many lives do we have?" "Nine, I think..."). In the next story, Boots's visceral responses to a duck ("My claws are sticking out. How peculiar!... I must get it!") are interspersed with the duck's own logic ("Oh no, a cat!... I must run. As fast as I can!"). In the third tale, nine cats play a none-too-skillful game of charades. Leonardo from Me and My Cat? puts in cameos in these episodes, which are punctuated by wordless interludes showing Boots achieving surprising results when he draws and paints. Kitamura expertly storyboards the action and encloses all the written narration in conversational voice bubbles. With their big ears, dazed eyes and nonplussed expressions, his cats are anything but quick thinkers, and their neighborhood "adventures" unfold at a leisurely pace that heightens the absurd humor. Ages 5-up. (Aug.)