Rina A Foti (text), David Atze (illus.), Cat Spies Mouse, Big Sky Publishing, 1 June 2018, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781925675351
Cat Spies Mouse is about a bold mouse who seeks to challenge the norm and make the world a better place. But mostly, doesn’t want to be eaten. When Cat comes along, he sees no reason as to why he shouldn’t gobble Mouse. Mouse of course, begs to differ. Cat insists but ends up, literally, as a dog’s breakfast. Mouse turns his efforts to persuading Dog to be nicer and eventually succeeds and the three characters become friends.
This is a simple story in simple language, written almost entirely in dialogue. The basic message is clear and noble: we should all try to be nicer to one another.
The cartoonish illustrations are vibrant and clear with plenty of white space for the large, easy-to-read text. Sensitive children may find the arrogant cat and the gnarly dog somewhat frightening, particularly the page on which the dog eats the cat.
Cat Spies Mouse serves as a catalyst for conversations around critical thinking, questioning the norm and treating each other with respect.
Reviewed by Pamela Ueckerman