Cat dog by Mem Fox and Mark Teague

cover image

There is one word for this book, and it is stunning! Mem Fox, author of such beloved tales as Where is the green sheep and Possum magic, has written a story that will have readers puzzling over it, while Mark Teague’s illustrations are fabulous. This is a story that will have readers calling out with glee as they follow the antics of a cat and dog on a couch, interrupted by a little brown mouse. 'So there was a scary dog, right?' begins the story and the picture shows a very scary dog with ugly teeth and a spiky collar, and the reader needs to call out 'Yes' or 'No' and turn the page to see the real story – of course a mild looking dog, scratching himself. Then there is the question 'But there was a cat, right?' And the reader once again calls out the answer. The book continues in this way, introducing a mouse into the scenario, culminating in the trio being seen together with the reader having to decide whether the mouse came out to say hi or whether something else may have happened.

The illustrations are outstanding. The three characters stand out against the lilac and blue background and khaki of the couch.  The contrast between the very active figures of Cat and Dog and their lounging on the sofa is fantastic, and the little mouse is very cute and will really appeal to a young audience. The expressions on the faces of the animals are priceless – the smirk on the cat’s face and the wagging tail of the dog on the front cover are sure to entice readers to open the book to see what is going on.

Cat Dog will challenge young children, and adults are certain to fall in love with this outstanding picture book as well.

Themes: Cats, Dogs, Read aloud.

Pat Pledger