Dog vs. Cat

illus. by Chris Gall. 32p. Little, Brown. May 2014. Tr $17. ISBN 9780316238014. LC 2013015639.
PreS-Gr 2—Starting with illustrations on the endpapers, readers know immediately that they are in for a treat with this picture book. On the same day, Mr. Buttons returns home with a "friendly-looking dog," while Mrs. Buttons find the perfect "smart-looking cat." Clearly, these newcomers are not going to get along, and each one sets out to make the other leave ("Dog rubbed some party balloons on the rug and stuck them to cat. Cat popped them with sharp claws, nearly giving Dog a heart attack. Cat filled Dog's water bowl with hairballs. Dog poured the water over Cat's head during naptime."). The exaggerated traits of both animals are wonderful. Small details, such as the dogs at the animal shelter holding signs saying "I'll be your best friend" and "I want to lick you!" are a hilarious contrast to the cats in the pet store window with signs such as, "And you are?" and "I'm kind of a big deal." The colored-pencil illustrations are remarkable, and the animals' dialogue, expressions, and body language are priceless, as is the funny conclusion. A terrific addition to any friendship or pet storytime.—Brooke Rasche, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Dog and Cat try to get along, but they're just too different. They build a wall of stuff to separate themselves, but then they start to miss each other...just in time to join forces to escape another new roommate. Text and pictures are layered with humor, and the bold colored-pencil and digitally created art heightens the odd-couple drama.
Anyone who has ever shared space will recognize the dilemma that develops when Mr. Button brings home a dog the same day that Mrs. Button brings home a cat, and they put them in the same room. The pets try to get along, but they're just too different: for example, "Dog was always sniffing everything" and "Cat would claw anything that moved." "The litter box issue" sends everyone's good intentions by the wayside. Text and pictures are layered with humor, and the bold colored-pencil and digitally colored art heightens the odd-couple drama with every page turn, culminating in a giant wall of stuff built to completely separate the two. Walled-off Cat and Dog start to miss each other, but as soon as they begin to make amends, they must join forces to escape yet another new roommate. The text describes a terrible creature, but the pictures give away the joke that a new baby has arrived. Mr. and Mrs. Button occasionally appear in the illustrations, but only from the neck down to keep the story within the realm of the animals. Endpapers feature black-and-white illustrated snapshots of Dog and Cat, inviting readers to imagine more scenes from their life together. julie roach

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