Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Author: C. Roger Mader
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
During the chaos of moving day, Slippers the cat is accidentally left behind. No matter how hard she tries, Slippers can’t catch the car as it drives away. So, Slippers decides to find a new owner to adopt. Though she meets many people on her search, there is something wrong with each one. Sometimes there is a scary animal like a dog or a horse that causes Slipper to move on from a potential new home. Sometimes it is a noisy truck or motorcycle that frightens Slippers away. Once, Slippers had to climb a tree to escape from a boy who yelled and jumped. As Slippers watches people walk by she sees someone who may be the person she is looking for and decides to follow. Not only does Slippers find a new family to adopt, she finds an old friend too.
Roger Mader has written and illustrated a delightful book that is perfect for preschool children through third grade. A former advertising director, this is his first book in the juvenile fiction genre. It won the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for illustration and was an ALA Notable Children’s Book. Working on a writing tip, “let the story come to you,” this heartwarming story was inspired by a lost kitten that came to his door and decided to stay. Mader’s use of texture, detail, shadow, and light in his illustrations is masterful. Cat lovers will appreciate and recognize Slipper’s facial expressions and body language in the large, often two page spreads that are expertly rendered in pastels. Another plus is his unique idea of showing people through Slipper’s eyes as feet: Mrs. Fuzzy Slippers, Ms. Muddy Boots, Mrs. Iron Shoes, Mr. Cowboy Boots. This book would be a welcome addition to any library for the illustrations alone. Its tender story is a bonus. You can continue to enjoy Slipper’s escapades in Stowaway in a Sleigh, released this year.