cover image Loaf the Cat Goes to the Powwow

Loaf the Cat Goes to the Powwow

Nicholas DeShaw, illus. by Tara Audibert. Penguin/Paulsen, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-59-346185-3

Loaf, a feline protagonist, follows her Ojibwe-cued caretaker, Charlie, to a powwow in this simply told picture book. Fond of rubber bands, paper bags, and ribbon, Loaf takes note when “my boy started putting all these ribbons on his clothes.” After the boy quickly hand-stitches the complex regalia, he tells the cat, “I’m going to be a grass dancer at the powwow.” When Loaf awakens to an empty house and ventures outside, she follows Charlie’s scent to a place filled with crowds and drums. In an animated picture book debut, Anishinaabe author DeShaw walks readers through the powwow’s Grand Entry, told through the perspective of Loaf the cat. Though the feline is more observer than actor in this straightforward work, digital illustrations from Audibert (the Jo Jo Makoons series), of Wolastoqiyik and French heritage, aptly capture the energy of a cat at play and a boy taking part in the powwow—and the two displaying affection for each other. Ages 3–7. (May)