In a graphic style reminiscent of Walt Disney cartoons, Alley the Cat, by Jarrett W. Mentink ’98, ’01 tells the story of Miss Alley, who not only breaks the “old rule” that “cats don’t like mice,” but actually finds mice “quite cool.” In contrast, gangster felines Skinny, Harry, and Crazy Pete “loved to chase mice / and when they caught them—They’d eat!” Frustrated by their inability to catch Wheels, “the fastest mouse in the land,” they lay a trap for the intrepid rodent. But just as they’re about to finish off their intended victim, in rushes Alley, who has been watching all along, and rescues him.

If there’s a moral here about the tyranny of inherited notions that perpetuate discord at the expense of harmony, kids will probably pick up on it—in less highfalutin terms, of course. Mainly, though, its simple story line, vivid characters, fresh design, and lively illustrations by Patrick W. Carlson will make Alley the Cat lots of fun for any child.

Jarrett W. Mentink ’98, ’01
Kids in the Clouds
Federal Way, WA
2002