Tuesday, January 05, 2021

All Together Now! Cat Dog Dog--A Story of a Blended Family by Nelly Buchet

What happens when a man with a shaggy, set-in-his-only-dog ways terrier moves in with a lady with an orange cat and a giant great Dane dog? Can the pampered pets work out some sort of accommodation? Leaving his bachelor pad behind, the man loads a box of his belongings and (ahem) several boxes of terrier toys and his pet's canopied doggy bed into a rented van and drives over hill and dale. Meanwhile the lady waits on the porch of her suburban bungalow with a persnickety cat and towering big dog, who already have their own issues.

All three pets have NO IDEA what is about to unfold! And as the two humans unpack all the boxes and put things in their places, the cat, dog, and dog start their first day with a multiple-pet shakedown. Right away, one of the dogs (whowill remain anonymous) chews a hole in a box and a hole in one of the shoes inside. There are assorted territory disputes, especially between the cat and terrier, who do not share beds and toys and bowls well. Walking two dogs is not a walk in the park, since each wants to go a different direction. Then there's the problem of who gets to sleep with the humans! There is, however, a bonding experience, as the cat, watching a bird outside on the sill, unlatches the window and all three pets escape. What happens? (Don't ask!)

The upshot of the little adventure is not pleasant, with bandages on legs and tails and cones on all the pets' heads for a period of quiet co-convalescence. But after that little sortie, the three seem to have worked out their pecking order. The two dogs play tug-of-war for the cat's amusement, and a change in the seasons shows all three in Halloween costumes, then watching the first snowfall through a (well-secured) window, and finally all three sharing the big dog's bed before a roaring Yuletide fire. The happy blend of pets ends well in a calm and placid home until... there's someone new added... A BABY!

Waaaaaaw! Who can sleep? Nelly Buchet's charming new title, Cat Dog Dog: The Story of a Blended Family (Schwartz and Wade, 2020), tells a hilarious and happy-ending story with a vocabulary of four words (five if you count dog two times), DOG, CAT,BIRD, and a FROG (who makes a cameo appearance in the front yard) that illustrates the old nostrum, "It takes a lot of living to make a house a home," and ends cheerily with dog and cat chasing the big dog with a Teddy bear in his mouth, as they exit, page right. Much credit for the success of this pettour de force goes to artist Andrea Zuill, whose illustrations tell the tale with great good humor. This new picture book from Buchet is a delight to read aloud to a child or for said child to use the limited text and many jolly details to enjoy the book solo and successfully! Among almost wordless books this one is a standout. Says Kirkus in their starred review,"A clever, winning readaloud for modern families!"

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home