children's book review: Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time

It's day four of my week-long look at the 2008 Cybil Award Easy Reader finalists. Tomorrow I'll review the winning book, and Saturday I'll wrap-up my thoughts on the easy reader category and name my own winner.

Houndsley and Catina are a continuing set of characters. It's the first book I've read, so I can't say if one should read them in order or not. Houndsley, a dog, and Catina, a cat, appear to be roommates and best friends, although there may well be a romance or familial relation. It's the first snow of the winter, and Houndsley is thrilled. He loves to be snowed in an imagines their home to be like an island. Catina is not thrilled because she is very much looking forward to the concert tonight. She's been practicing for months. Slowly, Houndsley convinces her to join him on the island and think of all the fun things they can do without leaving home.

Houndsley and Catina are cute, and they both manage to have a mix of childlike and grown-up sensibilities. I appreciate that the story is mostly devoid of gendered behavior. Most importantly, Houndsley and Catina build snow creatures! I laughed out loud a few times, and it was an enjoyable book. It reminds me very much of the Frog and Toad books I loved when I was young. If Elephant and Piggie books are what your young, hip aunt buys for you, then Houndsley and Catina books are what your sweet grandmother buys for you. It was a nice book, but it does lack a little bit of the fun factor.

Like Mercy Watson, it is also a wonderful transition to chapter books. The pictures would not be out of place in a picture book. Marie-Louise Gay does a fantastic job illustrating. Houndsley and Catina would be a good choice for early chapter book readers and for reading aloud. It's divided into three chapters, but quick readers will finish it in one sitting.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Pages: 42
Publication: 2008
Source: my local public library


  1. This looks like the cutest book. Thanks for sharing it --great holiday potential!


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