cover image The Grand Escape

The Grand Escape

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor / Author, M.D. Lake / Author, Alan Daniel / Illu

The droll escapades of two cat brothers who leave the safe and cozy confines of their home in search of adventure will readily enchant ailurophiles--and perhaps even convert aficionados of things canine. Marco and Polo are the beloved pets of the Neals, a well-meaning couple whose only fault is their reluctance to let the twin tabbies explore the great outdoors. Inspired by his single illicit visit to the backyard, as well as his gloriously muddled dreams of life on a ranch (gleaned from reading the newspaper lining his litter box), Marco convinces his brother to accompany him in his break for freedom. Once outside, the intrepid felines discover the joys of a Burger King dumpster and make the acquaintance of the winsome cat Carlotta and the territorial tom known as Texas Jake, ``The King, The Boss, The Cat Supreme.'' This sunny and boisterous novel is not an allegory in the style of Watership Down or The Rescuers , but an uncomplicated romp starring two captivating kitties. As a lagniappe, reliable nuggets of pet lore are scattered throughout: e.g., never leave string and rubber-bands around for kitty to swallow. Brimming with quirky cat character (and an obvious knowledge of the breed), Daniel's true-to-type illustrations are an added delight. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)