Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cat and Dog

Cat and Dog is an I Can Read Book written by Else Holmelund Minarik, author of Little Bear which we read nearly a month ago. Although Little Bear is a well-regarded book, I wasn't a fan and thought the author wrote as though English wasn't her first language. Cat and Dog rather reinforced that impression, not because of the unusual phrasing, but because of what seemed like unnatural repetition. Each character is addressed twice each time the speaker speaker speaks to him. For example, "Come and get me, Dog, Dog" or "Here are bones, Dog, Dog." I know that repetitiveness aids children's learning but this seemed very odd. Nonetheless, this book was nowhere near as cumbersome to read as Little Bear, though the target audience likely had much to do with that.

This story begins with a Dog tormenting a cat much as an older sibling might torment a younger one by constantly criticizing all his actions. However, while the dog might be able to bully the cat, both pets answer to their human owner. Thus, soon enough Dog is scolded by the human and both pets are put outside. Now on equal footing, the two frolic happily until it's time to go inside. The ending is quite abrupt which likely won't bother a child, but again struck me as strange.

Aimed at early readers, grades k-1, the illustrations are nice and colorful which might make it good book for discussion, though I found the dialogue sadly lacking.

Source: Library Book

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