Felipe and Claudette

illus. by Mark Teague. 40p. Orchard. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545914321. POP
PreS-Gr 2–Felipe is a calm and dignified cat. Claudette is the rambunctious dog who pesters him at their animal shelter. Claudette speaks in wags, grins, and "snorks," while Felipe speaks in precise speech. "I will not throw your little ball. It is covered in spittle." Over time, all of the other puppies and kittens get adopted, but Felipe and Claudette remain. Eventually, a man comes in to adopt the lively little dog. However, Claudette misses Felipe and loses her zest. The man returns her to the shelter because "She is not the dog I thought she was. She doesn't play or chew or run in circles. She doesn't even bark. All she does is mope." Claudette and Felipe are reunited, adopted by the woman who runs the shelter, and learn to appreciate each other's quirks. Some readers may be disturbed that someone would return an adopted pet because the animal's personality didn't match their expectations. Aside from this, the relationship between the two animals is a fun take on the familiar odd couple theme. Teague's exuberant illustrations capture the joy of a young dog demolishing a stuffed toy and the aloof posture of a cat rolling his eyes.
VERDICT This amusing and animal-centric story about pet adoption will carry the day at storytime and any small group setting.

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