Both of these stories charmed the socks off of me.
I Wish I Had a Pet, written and illustrated by Maggie Rudy published in 2014 by Beach Lane Books
Look at this darling mouse.
She is wishing for a pet.
But which pet should she choose? One must consider, for example, that many pets are not inclined to be dressed up like dollies.
And one must work hard at keeping them snug and comfy.
Miss Mouse knows lots more tips for choosing a pet and they’re all here and all cute as punch.
Maggie Rudy, a Portland artist, makes mice with felt, then places them in enchanting sets to photograph. For little persons who love-love-love tiny things, this is like an entire candy shop of cute and tiny. Walnut-shell perambulators, thimble wastebaskets, button frisbees, as well as such perky mouse wardrobes.
Adorable. Ages 2 and up.
Tip Top Cat, written and illustrated by C. Roger Mader published in 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Now, look at this cat.
Isn’t he a beauty? He is an investigator. A peek-around-the-corner, scruffle under the bed, peer from above fellow.
And a slip-out-the-window, pad-across-rooftops, perch-on-the-chimney fellow. In fact, his favorite spot is on the tip top of the house, surveying his vast, Parisian world.
Sort of a quiet dreamer type.
But, a spark of “jungle beast” flickers to life one day within his small cat heart when he spies a pigeon alighting on his balcony. (Just look at those eyes!)
He pounces, but in a tragic miscalculation, leaps right over the balcony railing and down….down….down he plummets, right into the surprised arms of the fruit vendor.
Don’t worry. He hasn’t broken anything…except his spirit! How can this handsome fellow get that back?
This story has everything going for it. The plot is charming and engaging and Mader employs the page turns superbly. The cat’s lovable personality emerges beautifully from the pages, his eyes easily communicating his cat soul. There’s adventure, calamity, suspense, and victory. And all of this is told masterfully through the illustrations — using full page, slow-motion and full-stop moments along with graphic novel style panels that move the action right along in other places. Just a minimum of text narrates us through.
The pastel work is creamy and appealing, the close-ups and perspectives scoop us right into the scene until we can almost physically feel ourselves following along in the cat’s trail. Don’t miss this one! Ages 3 and up.