Take It Away, Tommy!

Andrews McMeel. (A Breaking Cat News Adventure). Mar. 2020. 144p. pap. $11.99. ISBN 9781524858186.
Gr 4-7–Reporting on all the news that’s fit for felines isn’t easy, but house cats Lupin, Elvis, and Puck are up to the task. In addition to covering important news stories like “Breakfast is missing” and doling out tips on weathering vacuum cleaner attacks, the trio also contend with ghosts and cope with wayward mice who kidnap Puck’s favorite toy. Dunn has enlarged her cast considerably over the years, and in this series installment readers see more of the cats introduced in earlier volumes, like happy-go-lucky Tommy, a former stray who now has a home of his own. The Spanish-speaking Gatos de Noticias and Burt the barnyard cat, who provides audiovisual support, round out the crew. Graceful, airy watercolors animate the cats, who wear suits and ties and carry microphones, and careful details distinguish the characters. Lupin, Elvis, and Puck are based on the author’s own pets, and her ability to see the world from a cat’s perspective is hilarious and spot-on. Though these vignettes are light and humorous, a poignant note creeps in now and again, like when Tommy finally bonds with his new feline roommate, the lovely but aloof Sophie.
VERDICT While aimed at a middle grade audience, this delightfully quirky graphic novel will resonate with cat lovers of all ages.

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