Housecat Trouble

Random/Graphic. (Housecat Trouble). Feb. 2022. 176p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780593173459.
Gr 3-5–Buster, a sweet, upbeat, but timid cat, enjoys a quiet life until his owner goes away on a day trip, leaving him alone. While napping on the porch, Buster is approached by a feral cat who warns him that his home is crawling with a harmful spirit colony and that he should be prepared for chaos. Luckily, neighborhood cats Chauncey and Nova are experienced in battling spirits and are willing to help in exchange for food. Soon, all three cats are fighting one of the strongest spirit colonies they have ever seen, to prevent the house from being taken over. While Buster and friends go toe-to-toe with spirits, the palette provides an intensely optimistic contrast through tropical hues; an array of gold and coral is balanced by a cool, delicate teal and fern green. Panels are packed with detail without being overly intricate, while the line work is smooth but exaggerated, which is especially apparent in the highly expressive visual communication among the many animal characters. There is minimal human presence; the people depicted appear to be white and BIPOC (though their specific ethnicity isn’t discussed), with both natural and unnatural hair colors.
VERDICT A charming, humorously silly, and unexpectedly touching story about the power of friendship and loyalty in the face of adversity. Fans of Stephanie Cooke’s ParaNorthern: And the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse and Dave Scheidt’s Mayor Good Boy will speed through this one to see how it ends.

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