Thursday, May 20, 2010

Move Over, Marley: Marley and the Kittens by John Grogan

"You're in time out, mister!" Mommy ordered.

"What did I do this time?" Marley wondered.

He just wanted to be loved like the kittens, but the more he tried, the more he messed up.

"STUPID CATS! They're so perfect! PURRRRR-FECT!"

"Sometimes I wish I'd never found those kittens!"

A quiet picnic with Mommy, Daddy, Cassie, and Baby Louie suddenly becomes exciting when Marley finds two tiny kittens huddling in the tall grass by the roadside. Of course, the kids are delighted. Cassie christens hers Lucky, while Baby Louie calls the other Yow-Yow. Naturally, Mom and Dad can't leave the furry felines homeless, and Marley suddenly finds his only pet status a thing of the past!

But playing with the kittens looks like so much fun, and as usual Marley jumps right in with all four paws and tail wagging wildly, only to discover that a puppy just doesn't have the native talents that kittens have. Kittens can walk on shelves and counters and never disturb a thing. Kittens can play with the cords on the blinds and make Mommy coo with delight. Kittens can nibble their kibble neatly, and wash their faces and paws nicely. Kittens can explore a new litter box daintily and not spill a granule on the floor. But Marley?--not so much!

After Marley leaps on the counter, sending the coffee canister and cookie jar crashing, slops cat chow wildly as he gobbles down the new treat, and jumps into the kitten-sized litter pan--with predictable results, things begin to get grim at the Grogan house. And when Daddy installs a cat-sized pet door so that the kittens can visit their litter in the garage without Marley's participating in the process, he is delighted with the new door and barges right through, taking the cat entry and part of the basement door with him. Now it's time out for Marley in the corner of the cellar, wishing he'd never seen those too, too purrr-fect kittens.

But the kittens miss Marley and decide to join him in detention, and, of course, with the sight of the three penitents curled up together, a kitten under each of Marley's ears, all is forgiven by the long-suffering Grogan family.

"WADDY! YOU ROCK!: screeches Baby Louie.

Fans of that rascally retriever Marley will be delighted by John Grogan's brand-new picture-book adventure, illustrated by Richard Crowley, Marley and the Kittens (Harper, 2010). Along with his January offering, Marley: Marley Steals the Show (Harper, 2010), it's a double-dog Marleyfest for all lovers of everyone's favorite pesky pet.

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