An alien hurtles toward Earth, expecting to shape-shift into human form and work as a Yellowstone park ranger until his scheduled rendezvous for departure. Instead, his shape is decidedly catlike, and his landing spot (a tree in South Carolina) is way off target…Readers will particularly enjoy Leonard’s distinctive first-person narrative, sprinkled with an alien’s refreshing observations about the language, habits, and idiosyncrasies of Earth’s two- and four-legged inhabitants…Often amusing and occasionally moving, this imaginative chapter book is never less than fully engaging
—Booklist (starred review)
Leonard quotes Walt Whitman, has an affinity for knock-knock jokes and “I Love Lucy” and absolutely adores his shiny yellow rain slicker. Oh, and he’s an alien trapped in the body of a cat. . . . Readers will delight in his feline-out-of-water wonder at things we humans take for granted, from cheese to thumbs to umbrellas. They’ll also easily relate to his feelings of frustration, longing and excitement as he and Olive learn to accept and celebrate what makes them each unique. . . . Leonard is a witty, inventive and wonderful tale that encourages readers to step back and see the beautiful picture painted by our interrelated world. It invites us to appreciate the marvelous in the mundane, and to take a closer look at the animals we encounter, just in case they’ve got something important to say.
—BookPage (starred review)
An alien in the body of a cat visits Earth and bonds with a human girl… Humanity isn’t just for humans in this earnest, heartfelt story told from Leonard’s perspective. The characters experience loneliness and distress, but that makes the happiness and comfort of friendship all the more important. The alien aspect creates intrigue but mostly serves as a vehicle to showcase the preciousness of the human experience from an outsider’s perspective… A comforting read about connection and compassion.