Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Bandit's Surprise

Bandit's Surprise

Karen Rostoker-Gruber
Illustrator:  Vincent Nguyen 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Marshall Cavendish , 2010   ISBN: 978-0761456230

One day Bandit the cat’s owner, Michelle, takes his cat carrier out to the car telling him that she will be back soon “with a surprise.” Naturally, Bandit is keen to find out what kind of surprise is in store for him. Will it be a new toy or a tasty treat?

When Michelle comes home, Bandit finds out that Michelle has brought home a kitten called Mitzy. Bandit is not at all happy about the new arrival. No one asked him if he wanted a new kitten! Mitzi eats Bandit’s food, drinks his water, uses his little box, and then she commits the ultimate sin; she starts to play with his toy mouse. This is more that Bandit can stand, and he swipes at then kitten who starts to cry. Michelle scolds Bandit for scaring the kitten, which is when Bandit decides that he is not going to stay in a house where he is not wanted. Out the window he goes.

Though this amusing and sensitive story is clearly about a cat, it is very relevant to  young humans who have to adjust to having a newcomer in the midst. Getting used to change is not easy for cats or humans, and reading Bandit’s story will help children to understand that their feelings regarding a new sibling or a new adult in their life are perfectly normal.

Told from Bandit’s point of view (using speech bubbles) and in the third person, and using comic book style art, this second story about Bandit is sure to be a firm favorite with young readers and their adults.