I went back and forth when trying to decide whether or not to review MEOW! by Victoria Ying. After all, the only word in the picture book, from start to finish, is meow! It seems a little gimmicky. Or just too easy. But, I couldn't stop thinking about MEOW! The cozy illustrations and that cute kitten on the cover kept drawing me back, as well as the realization that MEOW! can be "read" (and embellished) independently by a pre-reader!
MEOW!, the story of a kitten with a ball of yarn looking for someone to play with him is anything by gimmicky or simple, with "meow," taking on many meanings over the course of the story, all of them conveyed through Ying's marvelous illustrations of the little cat and his family.
"Meow?" the kitten asks mom, dad and sister, offering up his ball or yarn. Every ask is met with rejection and meow becomes, "MRREOW..." Frustrated, the kitten begins unspooling his ball of yarn, trailing it in and out and around his parents and sister until they are forced to pay attention, only to get an angry MEOW in response. And a time out.
The meaning of meow changes again as the kitten thinks about what he has done and apologizes. He goes on to clean up his mess and even help mom, dad and sister with the tasks he interrupted. Happily, all this hard work makes time for a family game of - you guessed it - Cat's Cradle!
The more I read MEOW!, the more I love it! I can't wait to see what Victoria Ying, an animator who has worked on Tangled, Wreck It Ralph, Frozen, Paperman, Big Hero Six and Moana, will do next!
Source: Review Copy