Bandit's Surprise

Overview

Bandit is a happy cat. He has an owner, Michelle, who loves him, a warm blanket, minced clams for dinner, and a fuzzy toy mouse. But when Mitzi, a new kitten, moves in and messes with Bandit’s stuff, Bandit feels threatened. "Paws OFF, purr-brain," he cries when Mitzi goes after Fuzzy Mouse. Will these two cats ever reach a purr-fect friendship? Bandit’s cat-titude comes to life in Vincent Nguyen’s vivid, retro, full-page and paneled illustrations featuring graphite pencil, ink,...
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Overview

Bandit is a happy cat. He has an owner, Michelle, who loves him, a warm blanket, minced clams for dinner, and a fuzzy toy mouse. But when Mitzi, a new kitten, moves in and messes with Bandit’s stuff, Bandit feels threatened. "Paws OFF, purr-brain," he cries when Mitzi goes after Fuzzy Mouse. Will these two cats ever reach a purr-fect friendship? Bandit’s cat-titude comes to life in Vincent Nguyen’s vivid, retro, full-page and paneled illustrations featuring graphite pencil, ink, watercolor, and digital media.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Rostoker-Gruber and Nguyen give Bandit a new sibling in this sequel to Bandit (2008), in which he got a new home. Bandit the tomcat is excited when his owner Michelle packs up his cat carrier and promises to be home soon with a surprise. But when Michelle returns, Bandit says, "Who in cat-nation is that?" as a gray kitten pops her head out of the carrier. Mitzy wants to play, but Bandit's not interested. Things get worse when the kitten eats and drinks out of his dish and uses his cat box. Bandit can take no more when Mitzy plays with his furry mouse! He runs away after a scolding, but when rain begins to fall, he turns around-only to find the house shut up tight. Mitzy alerts Michelle to Bandit at the backdoor, and he begins to think that maybe Mitzy isn't all that bad. An overabundance of cat-puns wears thin quickly ("mew-monia," anyone?), as might the unnecessary layer of Photoshopped dots, perhaps added to mimic old-style newsprint on the distressingly static comics-style panels. There are plenty better new-kitty/new-sibling books out there. (Picture book. 4-8)
Booklist
In Bandit (2007), the caramel-colored cat adjusted to a new home. This equally endearing picture-book follow-up brings more upheaval, beginning when Bandit's owner, Michelle, comes home with a small gray kitten, Mitzy. Bandit fumes when Mitzy pounces on his tail, loses his temper when she grabs his favorite toy, and then, after Michelle scolds him, runs away: "You never yelled at me before Tattletail came along. I'm outta here." Then Mitzy helps rescue Bandit from a rainstorm, and he finally begins to accept the fuzzy newcomer. As in the first title, the polished, simply shaded drawings have a comic-strip feel that extends to the background of inked dots reminiscent of newspaper printing. With a well-paced mix of fullpage illustrations and small, uncluttered panels, the pictures focus on expressive Bandit, whose speech balloons deliver plenty of lighthearted, cat-centric puns ("Who in cat-nation is that?") and add to the book's read-aloud appeal. Both clever and sensitive, this welcome spin on the familiar sibling displacement story should find a wide audience.
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Sometimes a little distancing is the best way to help young children adjust to major changes in their lives, such as the arrival of a new sibling. That is the tack that Rostok-Gruber takes in this story about the cat Bandit's happy life turning upside down when Mitzy the new kitten shows up. Bandit displays the whole gamut of emotions and tries many of the tactics that an older sibling might. Bandit does everything he can to keep Mitzy from his litter box, food and water bowl, and resists the little intruder's attempts to play. But when Bandit's Michelle scolds him, the cat leaps through the window to run away. Unfortunately he ends up soaking wet and lonely. When he finally gets back in, he decides he would rather share his home than stay away. Vincent Nyugen's drawings have the feel of a graphic novel, which helps keep the text fairly spare but allows children to "read" both Bandit's and Mitzy's emotions. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The defensive, domesticated tan-and-white cat is back in this sequel to Bandit (2008). He has a new roommate, a little gray kitten, and he is not happy. Mitzy drinks and eats from his bowls, uses his litter box, and, worse of all, plays with Fuzzy Mouse. He swipes at Mitzy's face and is scolded by his owner. In response, Bandit says, "I'm outta here" and leaps through an open window. Later, when he is stuck outside in the rain, Mitzy comes to the rescue and Bandit reluctantly shares some of his precious belongings with her. The story is told through brief narrative and dialogue balloons that are filled with cat witticisms such as calling Mitzy "Tattletail" and "Fish Breath." To children, Mitzy is like a new sibling who steals their toys and attention, and they will identify. The clever pencil and ink illustrations are digitally enhanced and capture Bandit's frustration and annoyance and his misery when he is locked out. Both felines' humanlike expressions give feeling to the text. Bandit's story will console children with an attention-getting younger sibling and entertain them with the laugh-out-loud dialogue and situations.—Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT
Starred Review
* "The story is told through brief narrative and dialogue balloons that are filled with cat witticisms such as calling Mitzy ‘Tattletail’ and ‘Fish Breath.’ To children, Mitzy is like a new sibling who steals their toys and attention, and they will identify. The clever pencil and ink illustrations are digitally enhanced and capture Bandit’s frustration and annoyance and his misery when he is locked out."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781477810941
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/21/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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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