Whims, Wits, and Whiskers by Sieglinde C. Othmer

Whims, Wits, and Whiskers

A Californian Pet Tale
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Dogs and cats team up and put on a show in an endearing celebration of friendship, cooperation and creativity for children by clinical psychiatry and psychology scholar Othmer (The Clinical Interview Using DSM-IV-TR Vol. 2, 2002, etc.).

A California family reunion brings together seven idiosyncratic pets—wise Labrador/pit bull Mr. Guinness; compassionate shih tzu Lexi; spunky Tibetan terrier Rosie; bumptious (and gassy) beagle/bassett hound George; kindly yellow Lab Bailey; and suave tomcats Cosmo and Miles. The big question is how to pass the time, and, through trial and error, the animals—captured with artistic wit by illustrator Rosean—discover their individual talents. After the group lets loose in a cacophonous song-and-dance frenzy, some hummingbirds teach them to sing and perform in harmony. (The author includes two jaunty original tunes at the book’s website.) The friends decide to perform a show, but have difficulty deciding on a location. Cosmo votes for the Galápagos Islands; George prefers Africa, with a post-show hunt for wildebeests and elephants. Discouragement sets in when they realize they have no means of travel, but Bailey comforts them, using real-world coping skills that Othmer imparts with lightness and humor (“Just because we can’t figure out right now how to get there doesn’t mean we will never know”). The pets eventually live their dream of performing when the human master of the house flies them to a woodsy Missouri city. The friends learn about themselves throughout their give-and-take creative process, and their story is enlivened by anthropomorphic animal behavior: Alpha dog Mr. Guinness makes lists with pencil and pad, Miles and Cosmo are tango experts, Cosmo carries a “mouse leather satchel.” The book warmly encourages self-discovery, and it’s a satisfying journey.

A compassionate, humorous animal tale.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1475961515
Page count: 162pp
Publisher: iUniverse
Program: Kirkus Indie
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