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Friday, February 15, 2019

Niblet & Ralph, by Zachariah Ohora. Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Random House. 2018. $23.99 ages 4 and up

"One day Ralph found a way
to visit Niblet.
And Niblet found a way to
visit Ralph.
Except when Niblet got to
Ralph's, no one was home.
I'll just wait for Ralph, he
When Ralph got to Niblet's,
nobody was home there, either.
He probably just stepped into the 
litter box, thought Ralph."

Kids who love cats are going to love this story. Gemma and Dilla live in the same building. However, they do not know each other. They do have cats that look eerily similar; the two cats do know each other. In fact, they talk on the telephone together every single day, and lay in the same sunshine as it comes through their respective windows.

Tired of phone calls, the two decide to pay each other a visit. When the opportunity arises, they make their escape. It is not a good plan as each apartment is empty of its inhabitants. When the two children return home wanting to spend time with their pets, they are surprised at the cool reception they receive. It isn't long until they realize they have a big problem. Their parents show no concern, and insist that they get some sleep.

Impossible! They cannot sleep for fear of what has happened to their beloved pets. Their parents remain convinced that nothing has changed. Gemma and Dilla know they are wrong, and set out on their own to find the missing  felines. Their search leads them to an unexpected discovery! And ... all's well that ends well!

The colors are bright, the setting is warm and welcoming, and the details presented are engaging for young readers.

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