This is a nice adventure for a toddler. It has a strong urban flavour of houses with ample yards for families. "The Case Of The Cat's Meow" always reminded me of that old television cartoon called "Fat Albert", with a friendly, creative gang of neighbourhood children in varied shapes and sizes. Bill Cosby voiced the whole cast about twenty-five years ago.
This book with vivacious images, was a gift for my 6th birthday. It is argumentative and feisty, not the fuzziest toddler story. I suppose I kept it all these years because it's from my early childhood and cats are up my alley. I've re-read it for the first time in so long, I had to rediscover how it went. I'm ready to pass it on at last, to my baby niece. There are three boys of about 11 and one has a brother of about 4.
The detail I recalled, other than a heart-warming outcome out of place with the main tone; is that the youngest kid was annoying! To find his name is `Snitch' and to see his surly depiction again, with the frequent remark that he yells and bawls; lessens my regard now that I am grown up. I think he's one of those characters that would permit greater enjoyment of a story by being absent. One redeeming virtue is his cat, Mildred, whom he expressively loves. The mild mystery that's just right for the neat clubhouse in the backyard, something I had myself for a time, is that Mildred appears to have been gone for two days. She has a kitty door and the four boys noticed that she did return for food. After camping in the yard two nights, the detectives hear the titular `meow' and follow `Mildred', where they're surprised by the mystery's revelation.