Through the perspective of a household pet cat, the reader senses Bandit's confusion as he encounters a new experience--moving day. While his familiar surroundings are changing rapidly, Bandit questions and comments on all the activity. He sees furniture being moved and notices boxes stacked in the rooms. Furthermore, his toys, bed, litter box, and food are no longer in their usual places. Bandit does not understand the commotion in the household and suddenly, he finds himself placed in the cat carrier. Based on his previous experiences involving the carrier, Bandit thinks that he is going on a trip to the vet, until the duration of the car ride hints differently. The baffled cat is brought to a new and strange location where nothing is familiar. Bandit decides to escape and find his way back home. Unfortunately, there are new occupants in the place he knew as home. Along with the narrative, Bandit's comments, captured in speech bubbles, express his feelings in the story frames. The story is presented in the format of a graphic novel for younger children. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
Banditby Karen Rostoker-Gruber
Poor Bandit! His toy basket, fuzzy mouse, blanket, and bed are gone. So is his litter box, food bowl, and tuna. Then his owner carries him to the car. What’s happening? Is he going to the vet, or on vacation, or . . . is he moving? Bandit’s adventure comes to life with Vincent Nguyen’s vivid, retro full-page and paneled illustrations featuring graphite pencil, ink, watercolor, and digital media.
PreS-Gr 2- Bandit the cat is annoyed to discover that his bed, toys, and tuna are missing. He is doubly annoyed when he is placed in his carrier and put in the car. He thinks he is going to the vet. Then, because the journey is taking too long, he thinks he is going on vacation. When he arrives at an empty house, he is unimpressed ("Some vacation!") and promptly makes his way back across town to his favorite sunny spot in his house. Except it's not his house anymore. He has moved, which is "mews" to him. His owner finds him and takes him to his new house, where his bed, his toys, and a fresh bowl of tuna await him. At last, Bandit is home. By telling the story from the point of view of an extremely territorial pet, Rostoker-Gruber approaches the issue of moving in a fresh way. Bandit's experience and reaction will resonate with children who have moved themselves: the 'tude he exhibits, the resignation with which he says good-bye to all that is familiar, and the comfort he feels in finding favorite objects, even if they are in an unfamiliar place. Nguyen's mixed-media illustrations have an attractive Pop Art style, reminiscent of the comic-book and newsprint look of artist Roy Lichtenstein. While this title certainly will be useful in soothing the nerves of children preparing to move, it stands on its own as a funny, stylish book about a determined cat.-Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Meet the Author
Author Karen Rostoker-Gruber is a published humorist. She has written several books for adults and two other children’s books, Rooster Can’t Cock-a-Doodle-Doo and Food Fright. Karen is a ventriloquist and performs for schools and libraries all over New Jersey. She lives with her husband and daughter in Branchburg, New Jersey.
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