cover image When Cats Dream

When Cats Dream

Dav Pilkey. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05997-5

In this unusual and humorous picture book, Pilkey ( 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving ; the Dragon books) leaps into the unknown territory of a cat's dreams and conjures forth the colorful world found therein. A wakeful cat's life is ordered; the food bowl, ball and human laps are pictured in serene monochrome. But as eyes become heavy, color gradually sets in until cats frequent a Technicolor world of actions and adventure. ``The fishbowl is now an ocean, and cats can dive in''; the back door is open but ``no cat is afraid''; cats can fly to the moon or to the jungle, where they sashay among stars or bigger cats. Pilkey's fantastical vision is one of tropical colors and unfettered movement, a whirling world of abandon and energy, a Chagallian landscape of inverted reality. Language soars between the mystical, the poetic and the down-to-earth as the felines slip in and out of slumber, but Pilkey's sharp wit is ever-present. A celebration of the imagination and the extraordinary. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)