Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Houndsley and Catina

Houndsley and Catina

James Howe
Illustrator:   Marie-Louise Gay 
Fiction  Series
For ages 5 to 7
Candlewick Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-0763632939

Catina is writing a very long memoir and now that she has come to the end of the book Houndsley has offered to read it. It does not take him long before he discovers that the book is quite dreadful. Clearly Catina does not actually like to write and she has no talent for it. All she is really interested in is in becoming famous.

Houndsley on the other hand, is a very talented cook. So talented in fact that Catina and their friend Bert think that Houndsley should enter a cooking contest. Poor Houndsley does not cook well under pressure however and his three-bean chili is a disaster.

It would seem that Houndsley, though he is the best cook, has no interest in seeking fame for being so, and Catina, though she longs to be a writer, has no fun being one. So, the two animals simply sit back and enjoy doing something they both love and are very good at, being best friends and looking at the fireflies.

This heart warming and very meaningful chapter book will not only entertain and delight children with its funny little stories and its likeable characters, but it will also emphasize the fact that there is value in doing something because you love it, and that doing something to gain fame is not all it’s cracked up to be. Marie-Louise Gay’s whimsical and often amusing illustrations can be found throughout the book.