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Review of Vincent Comes Home

Vincent Comes Home
by Jessixa Bagley and Aaron Bagley; illus. by the authors
Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp.
2/18    978-1-62672-780-9    $17.99

Vincent the orange cat lives happily on a busy oceangoing cargo ship. In all his travels, he has never been ashore. But one day he hears the crew talking about “home” and starts to wonder what the word means. The next time the ship (named, ahem, Domus) is in port, Vincent follows a crewmember down the gangplank in search of “home.” Observant viewers will know before Vincent does that, of course, he already has one, because what he discovers is that “home is where the people who love you are.” And although Vincent thinks nobody has been paying him much attention, viewers know better: in the illustrations set aboard ship, the captain, whistling while he goes about his work, is never far away from his cat. Watercolor is an apt, and resonant, medium for this simple, mostly sea-set story: bright colors contrast with the watery blues and greens of the ocean and the smoky gray and purple night sky. Eye-pleasing, well-composed double-page spreads predominate, interspersed with occasional vignettes that spotlight Vincent’s reactions or, as in the final pages, provide an emotionally satisfying reunion between cat and captain. The readable text is spare and honed, with an appropriately bracing pace and tone: “Ship life was good. Fresh fish whenever he wanted. Seagulls to chase all day long.”

From the March/April 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Martha V. Parravano About Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.



  1. I really love that book. A good examination of what home means. I was so happy when this book wins Golden Kite Award. Great book.

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