Stowaway in a Sleigh

illus. by C. Roger Mader. 32p. HMH. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544481749.
PreS-Gr 2—When Slipper, a tabby house cat with green eyes, investigates strange footsteps in the middle of the night, she meets "Mr. Furry Boots" (Santa, of course). She is immediately smitten with him, and some shared milk cements their friendship. While he distributes presents, Slipper crawls into the big, soft bag left on the floor and unwittingly becomes a passenger on the sleigh. At the North Pole, she soon sets out to explore, but there is little magic here. The gift wrapping room with its hard stools and assembly line setup could be a dingy basement in a mid-range department store. Though Slipper is briefly amused by a toy mouse and befriended by a reindeer, it's no surprise when the homesick feline runs off. Mr. Furry Boots finds her sitting wistfully in the sleigh and takes her back home, but the resolution falls flat.
VERDICT With predictable plotting, little dialogue, and dark backgrounds that obscure visual details even on close perusal, this slight tale may appeal to ardent cat lovers but few others.

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