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Oscar and the Mooncats    by Lynda Gene Rymond & Nicoletta Ceccoli order for
Oscar and the Mooncats
by Lynda Gene Rymond
Order:  USA  Can
Houghton Mifflin, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Nicoletta Ceccoli is rapidly becoming one of my favorite picture book illustrators (I loved her work in the 2006 release, Firefighters in the Dark), so I was delighted to see her name on this new picture book, Oscar and the Mooncats written by Lynda Gene Rymond.

Oscar is a cat with a wild streak in him. Oscar loves to jump around his house, on the fridge, the chandelier, even the top of the bookcase. In fact, he loves to jump so much that he ends up jumping to the moon. He is lured by some mooncats (I guess the equivalent of alley cats) to play games such as 'pounce-on-the-moon-mountain' and 'pretend-there's-a-mouse,' and they intrigue him with a cream-filled moon crater. The mooncats want Oscar to stay on the moon with them forever, but Oscar is warned by a cow that he may forget his boy/owner.

Oscar is lonely for his boy and decides that he had it better on earth. He jumps home into the safe arms of his boy. At night, the boy washes the moon dust off Oscar's paws. 'Good night, wild Oscar,' says his boy. 'I wish I knew where you ran off to' ... 'But Oscar was already asleep, dreaming of his next big leap - and of always, always coming home.'

This very sweet tale about the love between a pet and his owner is also about the meaning of home. The illustrations by Ceccoli are stunning; they are soft and warm and have a dreamlike quality. I would buy any book featuring Ceccoli's mesmerizing drawings.

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