Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's raining (children's books about) cats and dogs

I suspect that as long as there have been and will be children's books, there will be children's books about cats and dogs. These are two of the signs our son knows, and he loves the chance to show them off whenever a dog or cat makes an appearance in a book. Here are reviews for a few of the books on our shelves that feature beloved canines and felines, and links to others we've previously reviewed.

Books About Cats

My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes (Picture Puffin) (Paperback), by Eve Sutton. This charming little (non-board) book, a gift from New Zealand, is one that I think he'll grow into. As I write this review, I'm thinking that I'll try reading it to him again tomorrow, because he has been interested in cats lately. The story discusses the exciting goings-on of cats around the world, comparing them to the simple pleasure of the author's cat, who, as the title suggests, "likes to hide in boxes." A very cute story that seems particularly well suited to a boy with relatives spread around the world.


"The cat from Spain/Flew an aeroplane./The cat from France/Liked to sing and dance./But MY cat likes to hide in boxes."

Bookworm's interest at 13 months: He enjoys the cats, but won't quite sit still for the whole book yet.

And how could we forget,

The Cat in the Hat (Hardcover), by Dr. Seuss. This was a fun one to read to him when the little guy was an infant, and he'd sit nicely through the whole thing. Now that he's a wriggly toddler, he won't tolerate it all, but I'm sure he'll love it again in a few months or years.

Bookworm's interest at 12 months: He likes the image of the cat in the hat.

Parent's Peeve: If I'm being nit picky, I'm not all that comfortable with the message that it's ok for two kids left alone to let a stranger into the house (even if he is the Cat in the Hat). But, we have to suspend reality for Dr. Seuss!

Previous cat book review: We recently reviewed the Pudgy Peek-a-boo book here.

Books About Dogs

Doggies (Boynton Board Books (Simon & Schuster)) (Board book), by Sandra Boynton. This cute board book, which is also a counting book, pleased mom and baby alike. The book counts dogs, and Boynton manages to come up with not only ten unique dogs, but also as many different barks. We got this one from the library, but I think it might deserve a spot in our collection. Funny that this one and Matthew van Fleet's "Dogs" both end with a cat.

Bookworm's interest at 14 months: At the moment, although he does enjoy the Doggies book too, he really gets excited to flip it over and make the sign for "hat" when he sees the preview cover for another of Boynton's books, "Blue Hat, Green Hat," which he haven't even read!

Go, Dog. Go! (Beginner Books) (Hardcover), by P.D. Eastman. I (mom) remember having this one as a child. He'll probably grow into it. The story could be better. It's loosely tied together by repeating scenes, like a lady dog repeatedly asking a male dog if he likes her hat, but the elements still seem a little random, particularly at the end.

Bookworm's interest at under 12 months: He liked it well enough, and often brings it to me now to show off the dog and first few pages.

Parent's Peeve: I keep wanting to stick an "e" on the end of "good-by."

Wag a Tail (Hardcover), by Lois Ehlert. A few years ago, we saw a cartoon in a photo shop that had a clerk saying to the customer something along the lines of "It looks like someone was trying to be creative." I couldn't help but remember that cartoon when I first read Wag a Tail. The illustrations are a unique scrapbookish style, with dogs with zig-zagged edges and button eyes. Fans of Lois Ehlert will recognize it as her work right away. The storyline is fairly plot-less, with dogs encountering each other on walks through a farmer's market and a park. The bibliophile wouldn't sit still to read Wag a Tail at first, but recently he's started to enjoy pointing out some of the button eyes in the book. Of course, at 14 months, he has plenty of time to grow into it.


"Ha Woo/How are you?/We are cool./We never drool."

Bookworm's interest at 14 months: The button eyes are the only thing he really takes notice of at this point.

Previous dog book reviews:
We reviewed a Clifford dog book here. And Matthew van Fleet's Dog book here. (There is a cat version too that we keep meaning to read). And Snuggle Puppy here. And a St. Patrick's day-themed book about a dog here.

Feel free to leave a comment to share your favorite dog/cat book recommendations.


pussreboots said...

My daughter would love My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes. She's nuts about cats.

Lisa said...

Doggies was probably my older son's favorite for months and months. We had to buy a second copy.