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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
Shadow’s Adventure Home is a sweet, tear-drawing tale written by Kathy Kovar and illustrated wonderfully by Mardel Rubio. It’s about a gray and white cat who likes to watch birds from the window and hang out with his pal Brendon. One day when the door is left open, Shadow runs out to chase a bird, gets farther and farther from home, and finds himself lost. The family searches for Shadow while Shadow experiences the terror of being lost, found, rejected, and stuck in a shelter. The shelter’s publicity catches the attention of the original family, and all are happily reunited. One after another of Rubio’s drawings beautifully depicts each advancement of the plot. There is also an actual photograph of the real Shadow.
A cat-lover myself, even as an adult I felt the emotion coming from Kathy Kovar’s words and Rubio’s drawings—the comfort of home, the confusion and panic of being lost, and the joy of reunion. I guess the story is on the level of preschoolers and early elementary kids, yet the tale includes words to upgrade a child’s vocabulary: ventured, soaring, trembled, proactive, insistent, and goofy as examples. And besides the fun, the lessons in the piece are important: stay close to home, be careful about your pet, and choose carefully the dreams you pursue. I shared my screen with my six-year-old granddaughter Amy, and she was rapt. And, when the story ended, she right away ran and hugged the family cat, Isabel—proof that Shadow’s Adventure Home by Kovar and Rubio hits the nail right on the head!