Two animals at a shelter can’t find a home.
Mrs. Barrett runs an animal shelter and has always successfully placed the puppies and kittens in her care for adoption. But two adult animals, Felipe (a grouchy gray-and-white cat) and Claudette (an exuberant brown dog), are left behind each week. Felipe blames Claudette and her loud, messy, boisterous ways for alienating prospective adopters, though the story never quite explains why her behavior would affect his chances of being adopted. When a man adopts Claudette, Felipe is left alone at Mrs. Barrett’s and seems even grouchier than usual. But then Claudette is returned to the shelter because she’s not at all the high-spirited dog the man had expected. It’s clear that she lost her spark because she was away from Felipe, and as soon as they’re reunited, she returns to her lively self. In a happily-ever-after twist, Mrs. Barrett decides to adopt the animals herself, and Felipe gains new appreciation for his canine companion. Throughout, Teague’s comical art enlivens the humor of the story, diminishing any worry that the ending will be anything but happy for the odd-couple pair of friends. Mrs. Barrett is a black woman whose hairstyle is not unlike Michelle Obama’s.
A fine feline-and-canine tale. (Picture book. 3-6)