cover image I Am Running Away Today

I Am Running Away Today

Lisa Desimini. Hyperion Books, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-120-3

One fussy puss is in search of a new home. Her former abode is ``cold and creaky,'' the garden trees ``old and broken'' and her best friend has moved away. And despite the finicky feline's highly developed sense of what exactly she is looking for--and what she isn't--by the story's end she has found her utopia. The minimal text is deadpan and droll (``my house can be any color but pink--pink doesn't match my coat''), the shimmering artwork quite arresting. The cat, whose fur radiates an orange glow, is resplendent against a backdrop of rainbow-colored skies and landscapes. While Desimini's rich oils are rooted in darkness (shadows predominate), her eccentric use of bright color sets her tale in a strange wonderland. Part advertising glossy, part folksy, her pictures convey both warmth and wit. Although this union of art and text seems less than ideal (the story is more fun and fanciful than the rather severe illustrations), both elements are admirably executed. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)