HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA AT THE LIBRARY by James Howe

HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA AT THE LIBRARY

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Three anthropomorphic animals share a story about community and life changes.

Houndsley, a dog who bakes muffins, Bert, a scarf-clad white bird, and Catina, a creative white cat, spend every Saturday at the library. They teach others to read, shelve books, and do yoga, respectively, generating a dynamic image of what goes on these days in libraries beyond sitting and reading a book. Cheery watercolor illustrations nestle with paragraphs of large, plain text with ample negative space for emergent readers. One Saturday, the normally cheerful librarian, a white bunny named Trixie, is unexpectedly downcast. The friends learn that Trixie is retiring to attend circus school, which means the library will be closing imminently. A hand-drawn sign announces a final chance to wish Trixie well and to return library books, and it also encourages everyone to “bring something special” for Trixie. As the week unfolds, each animal pursues thoughtful going-away gestures for Trixie, and one in the group puts thought toward how to save the fate of the library. Themes of kindness, adapting to sudden change, and pursuing personal growth make this early reader a touchpoint for conversations. Even with these opportunities for dynamic discussion, the plot’s drama and stress are resolved in a quick and satisfying manner. A table of contents will make this outing feel like a chapter book, readers gaining confidence.

Gentle existentialism for emergent readers. (Early reader. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 10th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9662-7
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2019




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