A clever use of reverse vocabulary tells a story of the cohabitation and uneasy friendship of Dog and Cat.
Cat is comfortably “Asleep” on top of a ball of yarn when suddenly Dog loudly leaps through an open window, startling Cat “Awake.” As Dog jumps “Over” the chair Cat had been dozing on, Cat immediately retreats “Under” it. Contrasting single words, the sole text, are presented in, mostly, double-page illustrations that extend the story effortlessly through expressive black-outlined cartoon scenes. A happy, frolicking, lovable Dog wants to play but seems only to succeed in bothering housemate Cat, who becomes increasingly annoyed, clearly wishing to be left alone. As beleaguered Cat runs “Outside” and then back “Inside” to hide, an enthusiastic Dog pursues, first deeming Cat “Lost” and then “Found” after espying a large lump under the rug. (Readers old enough to recognize the lump as Cat will be in stitches at Dog’s puzzlement.) In the end, while Cat wishes to be hidden and “Apart,” Dog insists that they be “Together”; the final illustration finds smiling Dog with a leg wrapped around a reluctant Cat, whose eyes are rolled upward. Twohy’s amusing, animated drawings perfectly reflect the divergent personalities of his characters and deliver a well-developed tale in just 28 words.
Kids will snort at the antics of the simultaneously exasperating and endearing Dog while feeling sympathetic to Cat. (Picture book. 3-5)