cover image Twisty-Turny House

Twisty-Turny House

Lisa Mantchev, illus. by E.G. Keller. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-3847-7

In the titular residence, “the cats stay upstairs, doing their cat things, and the dogs stay downstairs, doing their dog things,” writes Mantchev (Strictly No Elephants), an arrangement that the other animals—a rabbit, seven fish, and a rat—believe is all for the best. Then one day a cat creeps down the steps, and despite the three dogs’ initial animosity, they can’t resist showing off their digs. The cat does the same (its comrade, shy at first, eventually comes around), and after realizing their common interests, the pets start finding “new best things... together”: new toilets to drink out of, new furniture to claw and scratch, new plants to destroy. In digitally rendered art, Keller (A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo) employs organic textures, overlays of translucent color, and zephyr-light outlines (the cat’s initial foray down the house’s twisty-turny staircase is positively cinematic) as the creators show how, from very separate lives, a community of mutual joy and mischief is forged. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Sept.)