by Stef Gemmill
illustrated by Mel Armstrong
reviewed by Mia Macrossan
This beautifully illustrated picture book centres on Luna, a domesticated cat who is washed up on a strange shore after escaping from danger at home. Exhausted she naps on the rocks while a group of penguins fish around her. Cautiously she makes friends with them, catching fish and fending off marauding seagulls until she joins the huddle of penguins.
A fisherman comes along and tries to take Luna saying ‘This is no place for a cat’, but Luna wriggles free and makes her home with the penguins.
The illustrations are expressive and simple using strong contrasting colours. An engaging ploy is the little hermit crab that is in a different spot on every page encouraging readers to first find it and then to look more closely at the pictures.
This story can be interpreted in several ways. Is it about a domesticated cat returning to the wild and resisting recapture? Is about natural enemies forming an unusual friendships? Is it as the book blurb suggests about homelessness and displacement of refugees?
All this is rather a lot for a little cat to carry but then that is the beauty and wonder of picture books – they can say so much in so few words.
New Frontier Publishing 2019 Picture Book $24.95 Age 3+ ISBN 9781925594843