cover image Bruno, the Standing Cat

Bruno, the Standing Cat

Nadine Robert, illus. by Jean Jullien. Random House, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-525-64714-0

One morning, Peter, wearing a sky blue outfit and a wide-eyed expression, hears meowing out of a box labeled “Bruno” that he finds on his doorstep. When he opens it, a cat rises up expectantly on his hind legs, face-to-face with the child. Robert (Toshi’s Little Treasures) offers not so much a story as an amusing catalogue of Bruno’s accomplishments. When Peter’s friend Pam invites him to the park, Bruno goes with them, running on his hind legs. “How did you teach your cat to do that?” Pam asks. “I didn’t teach him,” Peter says truthfully. “He could always do that.” (Bruno looks at the audience with a pleased expression.) Thickly stroked black lines by Jullien (Why the Face?) give bold clarity to his characteristic artwork. A series of images shown against brightly colored matte backgrounds is devoted to the ways Bruno defies feline expectation. He prefers bubble gum to cat food, playing house to batting yarn, and would rather give Peter a massage than scratch the furniture. Bruno’s facial expressions provide most of the laughs—they range from horror to disdain to great delight—and the standing cat’s distinctive personality makes the book well worth sitting down with. Ages 3–7. [em](Apr.) [/em]