Niblet & Ralph (Zachariah OHora)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Niblet & Ralph by Zachariah OHora, a hilarious tale of mistaken identity.

Two nearly-identical cats, Ralph (with his humans, Gemma and her dad) and Niblet (with his humans, Dilla and his mom), live in the same apartment complex in the city, but only the two of them know it. They’re great friends – they look at each other through their windows, meow at each other on the phone, and share the sun at basking time. One day, Ralph figures out a clever way to visit Niblet… in the same moment that Niblet is slipping out to visit Ralph! The two cats are mistaken for their counterpart by the parents, but Gemma and Dilla are certain immediately that their particular furry friend has been replaced with an imposter. Going out the next day to search, the two run into each other, and new friendships are formed.

Adorable. This fun tale of swapped felines oozes charm, both from OHora’s distinct art style – bold colors, heavy black lines, and expressive characters – and his blend of kid-friendly absurdist visual and textual humor. I especially loved the rich environment of the apartment complex and its inhabitants, including the cats’ families – the walls and shelves are filled with art, books, records; the people are multicultural and diverse. The length is great, and JJ loved the kitties, so this one is definitely Baby Bookworm approved!

(P.S. – Animal nerds such as myself will be extra amused by the fact that both calico cats are male – around a 1 in 9 million chance occurance!)