Black cat Won Ton’s perfect life with Boy hits a puppy of a hiccup.
“It’s a fine life, Boy. / Nap, play, bathe, nap, eat, repeat. / Practice makes purrfect.” Then toys no cat would be interested in show up, and a mysteriously closed door that was never closed before hides a nasty surprise: a dog! “Puthimoutputhim / outputhimoutputhim—wait! / I said him, not me!” Poor Won Ton. The humans name the puppy Chopstick, but Won Ton guesses his real name is Pest. Rules are laid down and broken. An altercation over Chopstick’s eating Won Ton’s food leads to Won Ton’s banishment outside. Won Ton adjusts, but he secretly enjoys Chopstick’s encounter with a skunk and revels in the superiority of a self-cleaning cat. One stormy day, though, Won Ton finds puppies make fine pillows. “Some parts of woof I / will never understand. But… / practice makes purrfect.” The two snuggle down with Boy. Wardlaw’s fine feline phrasing in the haiku-related senryu form of Japanese poetry again pairs neatly with Yelchin’s watercolor-and-pencil illustrations. Both capture the canine and the feline in this fresh take on the “new puppy in a cat’s house” tale.
A satisfying companion to Won Ton’s eponymous first outing (2011). (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)