Holiday Hitchhiker: Stowaway In A Sleigh by C. Roger Mader
IT WAS THE DARKEST HOUR OF NIGHT WHEN SLIPPER HEARD STRANGE FOOTSTEPS IN THE HOUSE.
STEP BY STEP ON SOFTLY PADDED PAWS, SHE CREPT CLOSER AND CLOSER.
"'Twas the night before Christmas," and Slipper, the cat of the house, suddenly wakes in her cozy bed. Could a maverick mouse dare to stir after all her vigilance?
Stealthily creeping down the hall, Slipper investigates.
THEN SHE DISCOVERED...
MR. FURRY BOOTS!
SLIPPER WAS SMITTEN!
Slipper rubs her head against those delightfully furry boot tops, and the two midnight friends share a companionable moment with milk and cookies.
But as St. Nick turns to his work, Slipper does what cats do--she climbs inside his velvety red bag to check it out. And his job done, Santa snatches up his pack, slings it over his shoulder, and climbs back into his sleigh. The dawn is just beginning to backlight the horizon and it's time to head home.
And back home, as Ms. Furry Boots starts to pick up Santa's bag where he dropped it, she sees something squirming inside!
AND SHE LETS THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG!
Weary from her travels, Slipper curls up on Santa's fur-trimmed cap to sleep through the rest of the night. Morning brings elf feet in striped stockings and jingly elfin shoes, who escort her on a tour of Santa's workshop, with special attention to the cat toy section. But when she returns to the cottage, she spots something all-too familiar beside Ms. Fuzzy Boots' bed, a pair of fluffy red slippers just like her owner's. Suddenly Slipper feels that irresistible feline homing urge and sets out, leaving little cat tracks heading south in the polar snow behind her.
But holding his lantern high against the Arctic night, Santa follows Slipper's trail and finds a sad-eyed, homesick kitty seated in the front seat of his sleigh, and. .
. . . HE UNDERSTOOD.
Santa's little hideaway helper flies home first class this time, in C. Roger Mader's forthcoming Stowaway in a Sleigh (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).
In this sequel to his 2013 hit, Lost Cat, author-illustrator Mader brings back his charming calico cum striper, Slipper, a feline with a slight shoe fetish, for a joyously satisfying holiday adventure.
Mader's text is meticulously selected for sibilant, sonorous language, his frequent use of the S sound creating a hushed atmosphere perfectly suited to an encounter between a soft-footed kitty and a midnight visit from St. Nicholas, and the author knows well when to use his lovely language and when to let his artwork tell the story in stunning double-page spreads and varied perspectives. Artist Mader sets off his shadowy but lush tones with masterful use of light--the white of Slipper's little nose, toes, and throat markings, the fur-trim on Santa's crimson suit, the false dawn of the polar landscape, and the touches of the white snowscape.
In this exquisitely told and illustrated picture book, Mader has managed to create another feline masterpiece, one that deserves to become a classic staple of the festive season.