cover image Cat in the City

Cat in the City

Julie Salamon, illus. by Jill Weber. Dial, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4056-3

Adult author Salamon’s (Wendy and the Lost Boys) first novel for children introduces two beguiling characters. There’s the eponymous cat—a self-possessed, fluffy white stray who arrives in New York City bedraggled but not defeated, is dubbed Pretty Boy, and finds a loving community with an eclectic group of humans and animals in Greenwich Village. Then there’s the wry and worldly omniscient narrator, who’s given to making Carrie Bradshawesque observations like, “So Pretty Boy and Dee [an indie hairstylist] began the kind of relationship that was common in the city. They depended on each other up to a point, but didn’t go so far as to admit there was an obligation.” The story, which follows Pretty Boy’s journey to a permanent home, is most interesting when narrator and cat are front and center. When Salamon turns her attention toward a secondary character, a shy boy who gains a sense of self through the study of cello, readers may find themselves flipping ahead. Weber’s (The Story of Passover) stylish spot illustrations are little love letters to the Big Apple that also capture the bohemian bonhomie of Pretty Boy’s circle. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)