Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Keri Boyle
Illustrator: Jonathan Sneider
Teddy is his own kind of dog, living life “Teddy-style.” But suddenly his Teddy-centered life is turned upside down with the arrival of package containing a CAT! After trying unsuccessfully to send the box back, he decides to make the most out of it and teach her a few of his tricks. They try swimming together, riding in the car, and barking at things out the window, but Fishbreath isn’t all that interested. So Teddy tries a few of her tricks—climbing on curtains, searching for mice, and climbing trees—but they really aren’t for him. Finally they find common ground in a catnap, and Teddy concludes, “Perhaps we’re not so different after all.”
Kids will greatly enjoy the vivid, detailed illustrations of this book combined with entertaining text. Because the story is told from the perspective of Teddy, it also gives children practice in comprehending abstract ideas. In other words, it can be cognitively stimulating to compare what Teddy thinks he’s doing with what people would think of him. One downside to this book is Teddy has an arrogant, obstinate attitude that children might pick up on if they read too closely. But then again, he is just being a dog, and toward the end of the book, this attitude is softened as he comes to accept his feline friend. It provides an entertaining look at the differences between cats and dogs and has a deeper message of promoting individuality and acceptance. Overall, it’s an amusing book that will give kids plenty to look at and think about.