A ginger house cat lives its best life in Meow, a sweet, creative picture book by two-time Caldecott Medal-winner Chris Raschka (A Ball for Daisy; The Doorman's Repose).

Marigold is an orange and yellow cat with a bright pink nose and a loving child owner. "Me," Marigold begins, looking curiously at the child's hand, "ooo" it finishes as pleasing scritches are given. Afterward, the child leaves and affronted Marigold responds with a haughty "me ew." The emotion passes quickly. Marigold knows exactly what to do next: find nothing and chase it at top speed. A sunbeam stops the cat mid-zoom ("me oh oh oh") and it settles in for a nap. Belly in the air, eyes closed in comfort, the ginger cat lets out a happy "mmm" right before receiving an accidental tail trod ("mm eee eee ow!"). The child finds Marigold under the bed ("ow/ ow") and apologizes. All hurts are quickly forgotten as Marigold climbs out from under the bed ("me"), gets the child's attention ("me") and leaps for cuddles with a "yow."

Raschka's signature illustrative style is perfect for his choice of protagonist. The use of watercolor without an outline gives the figures a feeling of fluidity and movement that matches a cat's ability to seemingly be both solid and liquid at the same time. Marigold's body smooths into a clean line while running and puddles into a spotted orange belly while sleeping in a sunbeam. The different variations on "meow" give pre-readers the chance to tell their own story while also taking clues from Marigold's facial features and posture. If Raschka doesn't have a cat, it's possible he might be a cat. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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