Woof: A Love Story by Sarah Weeks; Illustrated by Holly Berry (HarperCollins, $16.99, 32 pages). Age range: 4 to 8.
A dog is a dog/ and a cat is a cat/ And most of the time/ it’s as simple as that/ Or is it?
Young children’s literature is alive and well! The dynamic duo of author Sarah Weeks and illustrator Holly Berry have teamed up to create a colorful, delightful and endearing picture book. Woof is the story of a dog who, at first glance, becomes smitten with a lovely white kitty. His tale is set forth in rhyming verses guaranteed to delight both the listener and the reader. The illustrations are created using an imaginative combination of original woodcuts and photographic images. The effect is just eye-catching enough to enliven the story without being jarring.
Woof is big enough for the reader to hold it while allowing the listener to easily turn the pages. Although the story line is a bit improbable (it involves a buried trombone ), it sets the stage for a dialogue about ways of communicating that can take place between the person reading the book and his or her young listener. Clearly, woof and meow are not the only way for the two characters to share their feelings. Music is the key to their understanding of each other.
Delightful – 5 Woofs (or Meows). Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Ruta Arellano. Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review. “This humorous and heartfelt story is about the power of love and the power of music, told through the eyes of a lovelorn dog and the cat he adores.” HarperCollins
Frankie Works the Night Shift by Lisa Westberg Peters (Greenwillow Books, 32 pages, $16.99)
People sometimes wonder what it is we cats do all night long. Well, this neat-o book by Lisa Westberg Peters (illustrated by Jennifer Taylor) shows that we keep the household going, doing lots of essential stuff while the lazy humans are asleep. We chase mice, clean counters, empty trash cans, water the yard and call meetings of the Neighborhood Watch Patrol.
Yes, we work while you sleep and if not for cats like Frankie, who knows what a mess you’d wake up to in the morning! This is just a great 32-page book that introduces the young kids to us felines and helps them to learn how to count. OK, so the adults in the household may not appreciate the so-called “ruckus” they claim we make when it’s dark but – as my favorite band the Eagles sing – get over it!
The illustrations are beautiful and do justice to us handsome cats and even the stupid dogs. The end of the story finds Frankie sleeping after taking care of business all night. Let sleeping cats lie is what I say. Oh, and give them plenty of Purina Party Mix Treats. You’d better add this one to the family library.
This review was written by Munchy Arellano, the brown tabby cat. A review copy was received from the publisher. Munchy has received no compensation for his endorsement of Purina Party Mix Cat Treats.
Frankie Works the Night Shift is recommended for children between the ages of 3 and 8.