Shadow the cat loves watching birds outside the window of his house, and he dreams of catching one one day. Living with his family in the city, however, makes this difficult since he is inside all day. One day, Shadow begins to notice his family putting things into boxes and, while it is fun to play with the boxes and wrapping supplies, Shadow is less excited when he notices his own things being packed away. It turns out that everything is being packed up to move the family to a house in the country with ample room for Shadow to play. When he accidentally leaves his new house through an open door, Shadow spots a bird and chases it far from his new home. He eventually loses track of the bird, realizes he is lost, and must do his best to find his way back to his family.
Anyone who has ever lost a pet will appreciate the emotions Shadow feels being separated from his family. Colored pencil illustrations form the visual component of this story, adding emotional depth to the text. Lines of pencil give the images texture within the confines of a two-dimensional page. The humans in Shadow’s life are all white, ranging in age from children to middle-aged adults. Each two-page spread features an image on one side and a block of text on the other, allowing readers the opportunity to experience both separately.
The quantity of text makes this story best suited to elementary school-aged children with longer attention spans. Narrative is the primary storytelling method in this book, but dialogue is peppered in for some variety, as well. Through this focus on descriptive language, readers get a clearer sense of Shadow’s moods even though cats cannot talk in real life.
Readers with an affinity for cats will empathize with Shadow’s story and will find similarities between his adventure and that of the animals in Homeward Bound. Through a fortunate turn of events, Shadow teaches readers the importance of perseverance when attempting to find their way home.
My career has focused on children’s literature, primarily, but I have a love for YA books, too. I began reviewing books in 2015, since which time I have had over 500 published reviews!
I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews like this upon request: https://youtu.be/9MQx-u_NFI8