cover image Cat Jumped In!

Cat Jumped In!

Tess Weaver, , illus. by Emily Arnold McCully. . Clarion, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-618-61488-2

Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, but it sure annoys a homeowner in this vivacious picture book about a wayward feline. “It was summer, and someone left the window open. Cat jumped in!” begins the adventure. Before long, a bold black-and-white cat is wreaking havoc in the kitchen, the bedroom and eventually the art studio. Each time Cat wraps up his messy antics, “someone” approaches, “Tip-tap, pitter-pat,” and calls, “Cat? Out!” But not even “someone” can resist when Cat eventually turns on his furry charm. Weaver’s (Opera Cat ) succinct text rings with onomatopoeia and provides a bit of suspense as readers try to infer the identity of “someone” and to guess what Cat will do next. Both author and illustrator demonstrate a fond familiarity for felines in spot-on depictions of cat-like behavior and situations. McCully’s (Mirette on the High Wire ) watercolors, often set off by playfully curled or tumbling text on the page, are flashes of color and motion, capturing Cat’s trail of innocent yet flamboyant destruction. She keeps the tale’s mystery alive by showing “someone” only from below the knee, and by offering other clues in her backgrounds. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)