“If I’m not a cat,
Why did my family name me that?”
The little dog repeatedly asks in Anne Toole rhyming children’s book, A Dog Named Cat.
~ What ~
This unnumbered twenty-six-page paperback targets children ages three to seven years old or those learning to read. With no scary scenes, it is a story about a dog that is called Cat who wishes he was named something else. With a black easy-to-read font against light blue backgrounds on the right sides of the pages, the left sides usually contain expressive, colorful illustrations that mostly follow the storyline on the opposite page.
In this short tale told in rhyme, a family of four select a little dog from an animal shelter and decide to call it Cat. The dog encounters a mouse, fish, bird, and cat, and wonders why he is named Cat when he has none of its characteristics. Wanting to change his name, he barks so often he is sent to the vet, but he is still called Cat. At the end, Cat saves the boy from a snake, and his name is changed to Lucky.
~ Why ~
This is a fun and engaging book that shows the differences between animals and their characteristics. It is a teaching tool regarding trying to change something, sometimes by approaching the problem the wrong way. I like the innocence of the dog as he learns about the other animals and their differences.
~ Why Not ~
Those who like cats may not like a book that mentions felines scratch and are mean and not nice. Although the story is charming, some of the rhymes are a stretch if read out loud, but they work overall. There are capitalization and punctuation errors throughout the pages that should be corrected.
~ Who ~
After teaching first grade for thirty years, Toole retired, only to work as an ESOL teacher for three years. Having written other children’s books, she travels extensively and lives in South Carolina. No information is offered regarding illustrator.
~ Wish ~
With this book targeting beginner readers, it would be helpful to make sure it is written perfectly so children do not assume its errors are acceptable. I wish the beginning pictures followed the storyline on their opposite pages.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a story of a dog that doesn’t like being named after a cat and does what he can to change it, this would be enjoyed by young readers.
Thanks to Bookpleasures and Outskirts Press for this book that I freely evaluated.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.