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Review of Cat on the Bus

kim_cat-on-the-busCat on the Bus
by Aram Kim; illus. by the author
Preschool    Holiday    32 pp.
10/16    978-0-8234-3647-7    $16.95
e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3710-8    $16.95

Paw prints cross the opening endpapers, and the title page gives a preview of what will eventually happen as a contented kitty sips milk beside a delighted-looking child. But before that, the calico cat scrounges in a trash container for food (“CLACK / Clang / Rattle / Clatter!”), and when it tries to enter a store where a mouse can be spotted on the floor, the cat is shooed away. One bus driver snarls at it (“Scram / Scoot / SHOO!”), and as the cat waits at the bus stop and snow begins to fall, its dejection is clear in each of the four panels. The next bus driver, though, lets the cat board, and Kim shows the cat with alert ears, a smiling mouth, and a joyful attitude as it sits up at the window and is greeted by a kindly man who doffs his cap and shares his striped scarf with our protagonist. First-time author-illustrator Kim combines pastels and colored pencils digitally to create clean, spare illustrations. The multicolored cat has appealing turquoise eyes and a heart-shaped nose, and the humans in the urban environment are ethnically diverse, with the main characters appearing to be Asian. The simple story comes to a very happy ending, with the clever closing endpapers showing human footprints alongside the paw prints.

From the January/February 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Susan Dove Lempke About Susan Dove Lempke

Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and director of the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.



  1. This is an adorable story and i bought it for my nieces and nephews and they love the imagery.

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