Dogs and cats have different perspectives on the world, a dichotomy explored in this humorous tale retelling the same story from two different viewpoints.
Energetic Frank is a pugnacious pug who guards his house against squirrels, loves his family, and barks vociferously. Laverne is a laid-back lavender cat who practices Zen gardening in her litter box. She’s a sly thing who really wants Frank out of her life so she can have his stuffed fish toy all to herself. Frank’s story is told in journal format, covering a week of interactions with family, neighborhood animals, and his pal, Laverne. When the book is flipped over, Laverne tells her version of the week’s events, both stories ending in the middle with the cat in possession of the fish toy. Cartoon-style illustrations in watercolor and pencil set small, multiple vignettes against extensive white space, a format that will appeal to older readers. The two typefaces (different for cat and dog) are too small in size and in weight, making the text difficult to read—a mystifying design choice, as there was plenty of space available for a larger type size. While this double-trouble story may be useful in classrooms exploring perspective in creative writing, the story itself really isn’t very funny or compelling, and there are many fractured fairy tales that employ varying viewpoints in more exciting style.
Frankly, Frank and Laverne don’t have too much to offer beyond the two-sided format gimmick. (Picture book. 4-9)