A couple moves in together. But can their pets handle the big change?
A scruffy white dog lives alone with her human father. She loves her toys, her royal dog bed, and lying at her dad’s feet at night. Elsewhere, a large houndlike dog and an orange tabby live together with their mother. The dog loves playing. The cat doesn’t seem to love anything—except, perhaps, sleeping in the dog’s bed. A moving van unites the two families under one roof, forcing the new pet stepsiblings to get to know one another. Faces are swatted. Clothing is eaten. Things just aren’t as comfy as they used to be. Gradually, the pets start to warm up to one another—that is, until the family adds yet another member to the mix. Buchet’s debut picture book primarily uses the two titular nouns—cat and dog—in various patterns (“Dog Cat” or “Dog Cat Dog”). The minimalist text relies on Zuill’s expressive, funny cartoon illustrations to fill in necessary context. The words and pictures harmonize as pace, rhythm, and layout work together to clearly depict poignant moments of isolation, tension, and togetherness. New words added into the rhythm, such as “Frog” when the animals stare down an amphibian, create laugh-out-loud silliness. The humans, one white-presenting and the other brown-skinned, diversify this beautiful, blended family.
A clever, winning read-aloud for modern families. (Picture book. 4-8)