The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Cats & Dogs- April 2008

Selected and annotated by Erica Laughlin


Calmenson, Stephanie. May I Pet Your Dog?: The How-to-Guide for Kids Meeting Dogs (and Dogs Meeting Kids); illus. by Jan Ormerod. Clarion, 2007. 4-8 yrs.
Learn all about the dos and don’ts of kid-meets-dog etiquette from Dachshund Harry!

Fine, Anne. The Diary of a Killer Cat; illus. by Steve Cox. Farrar, 2006. Gr. 2-4.
Tuffy the cat likes to practice his hunting skills on innocent birds and mice, but when he kills the neighbor’s pet rabbit, Ellie and her parents try to hide that Tuffy was responsible. Told from Tuffy’s point of view, this tough-minded cat tries to justify his naughty behavior.

Finney, Patricia. I, Jack; illus. by Peter Bailey. HarperCollins, 2004. Gr. 4-7.
While his owners do not think Jack, a yellow Labrador retriever, is very smart, he is able to provide for the mother of his puppies and to rescue his owner with a broken leg. Jack provides a humorous glimpse into the world as seen through a dog’s eyes, and footnotes written from the cats’ perspective are also included.

Friend, Catherine. The Perfect Nest; illus. by John Manders. Candlewick, 2007. 6-9 yrs.
Jack the cat is hungry for an omelet, so he builds a cozy nest and waits for a chicken to lay an egg inside of it, but duck and goose eggs appear, too! When the eggs hatch, Jack forgets his omelet and finds himself playing mommy to the newborn creatures.

Gretz, Susanna.Riley and Rose in the Picture. Candlewick, 2005. 4-6 yrs.
Riley the dog and Rose the cat decide to spend a rainy day drawing pictures, but Riley doesn’t like how Rose imaginatively doodles on his geometric shapes. After they quarrel and agree to start a new picture, they are so much in agreement that they end up inside the picture they create!

Harper, Charise Mericle. Fashion Kitty versus the Fashion Queen. Hyperion, 2007. Gr. 2-4.
Kiki Kittie is fed up with Cassandra, a new kitty at school who assumes Kiki’s title of Fashion Queen. Cassandra claims that her fashion guide is the work of Fashion Kitty, not knowing that this kitty is actually Kiki Kittie’s alter ego! Kiki struggles to reclaim Fashion Kitty’s reputation without revealing her secret self.

Hicks, Barbara Jean. The Secret Life of Walter Kitty; illus. by Dan Santat. Knopf, 2007. 5-8 yrs.
Walter may seem like an ordinary housecat, but he is actually an avid daydreamer. In his fantasy life, Walter is calls himself “Fang,” and he is an adventurous swashbuckler. Walter isn’t such a tough kitty in real life, and he even responds to affectionate nicknames like “Kitten” and “Baby” when his owners offer him food.

Howe, James. Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise; illus. by Marie-Louise Gay. Candlewick, 2006. Gr. 1-3.
Houndsley the dog and Catina the cat are sad because they don’t know the dates of their birthdays, so they come up with a solution. Each decides to plan a surprise birthday party for the other, but Houndsley and Catina don’t know they are trying to fit two parties into the same evening!

Jaffe, Michele. Bad Kitty. HarperCollins, 2006. Gr. 7-10.
Seventeen-year-old Jasmine is enjoying a vacation with her family in Las Vegas until she saves a young boy’s cat and finds herself mixed up in a celebrity scandal. Jasmine enlists the help of her new friends to solve the murder mystery, and along the way, the girls encounter villains, heartthrobs, and fashion dilemmas.

Jenkins, Steve. Dogs and Cats. Houghton, 2007. Gr. 3-6.
Drawing on scientific information, Jenkins compares dogs and cats in language that is easy to understand, and he offers lots of interesting trivia about our furry companions.

Kelleher, Victor. Dogboy. Front Street, 2006. Gr. 9-12.
In this religious fable, Boy is abandoned by his father and raised by a dog in a village that shuns him. Boy discovers his skill at finding water during a drought and profits materially from this skill, but he is not truly successful until he recognizes that pretensions of importance will not get him anywhere.

Kuskin, Karla. So, What’s It Like to be a Cat? ; illus. by Betsy Lewin. Atheneum, 2005. 5-8 yrs.
A cat happily answers a young boy’s questions about what life is like for a cat. This book provides all you ever wanted to know about cats: how much sleep a cat gets, where it likes to sleep, and whether or not it likes having human owners.

O'Connor, Barbara. How to Steal a Dog. Foster/Farrar, 2007. Gr. 3-5.
When Georgina’s father abandons her mother, the family sinks into poverty. Georgina is desperate to do something to improve their plight, and she convinces herself that she can get easy money by stealing a dog and then collecting the reward. Georgina’s plan, however, doesn’t go as smoothly as she expected.

 Sidman, Joyce. Meow Ruff; illus. by Michelle Berg. Houghton, 2006. Gr. 2-4.
Meow Ruff traces the adventures of a dog and a stray cat who take refuge under the same picnic table when it begins to rain. This story is cleverly told in concrete poetry with lots of onomatopoeia.

Smith, D. James. Probably the World's Best Story about a Dog and the Girl Who Loved Me. Jackson/Atheneum, 2006. Gr. 6-8.
Set in a small California town in 1951, twelve-year-old Paolo, his younger brother Georgie, and their deaf cousin Billy spend the summer investigating a ghost who appears in a neighbor’s attic window. The three boys set out on another adventure when Paolo’s dog is kidnapped.

So, Meilo.Gobble, Gobble, Slip, Slop: A Tale of a Very Greedy Cat. Knopf, 2004. 3-5 yrs.
Based on Indian folklore, this story tells of a very selfish cat that has a big appetite. Among others, he eats his friend the parrot, an elderly woman, a farmer, a donkey, and an elephant. The cat also eats two crabs, which end up being his last meal when the crabs slice open his stomach and free all the devoured victims inside.

Straight, Susan. The Friskative Dog. Knopf, 2007. Gr. 3-5.
After Sharron’s father disappears, the young girl tries to cope with her sadness by keeping with her a small stuffed dog that was a gift from her father. Sharron even takes the dog to school, where her bullying classmates steal it. Sharron musters enough courage to challenge the bullies, and in the process discovers her self-worth.

Umansky, Kaye. I Don't Like Gloria!; illus. by Margaret Chamberlain. Candlewick, 2007. 3-6 yrs.
When Gloria the cat becomes part of the family, Calvin feels resentful and gloomy as his owners forget to take him on walks. To make matters worse, the cat begins eating from his food bowl! But don’t expect a sad ending to this story of pet rivalry because Calvin is plotting mischief.

Van Fleet, Matthew. Dog; with photographs by Brian Stanton. Wiseman/Simon, 2007. 2-5 yrs.
This book contains photographs of twenty different breeds of dogs—large and small, furry and sleek, puppies and full-grown. Pull-tabs make tails wag and legs scratch, and the photographs’ textured tails and ears encourage the young reader to touch. At the end all the dogs that appear in this book are identified by their real names.

Ward, Helen. Little Moon Dog; illus. by Wayne Anderson. Dutton, 2007. 4-7 yrs.
The Man in the Moon won’t come outside anymore when fairies invade the moon to vacation. The Man in the Moon’s pet, Little Moon Dog, decides the fairies are much more fun to play with than his owner, but he soon finds himself abandoned and a long way from home.

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