Book Review - My Dog, My Cat

Author/Illustrator:  Ashlee Fletcher
Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing, Inc. (August 1, 2011)
Audience: Preschool
Source: Copy for Review
Animals * Differences 

Description from GoodReads:
In this bright new picture book, the author describes all the differences between her dog and cat, who don't always get along. Her dog barks; her cat meows. Her dog likes steak; her cat likes tuna. Her dog's tongue is wet; her cat's tongue is rough. But the story ends on a delightfully sweet note when the author also tells us what her dog and cat have in common - a love of pizza and a love of their owner. The strong lines and fresh colors will make this book an appealing read as children learn about normal behaviors for the two most popular pets, and that even the most different of creatures can find things in common.

Sometimes simple is best. Simple was what drew me into Ashlee Fletcher's debut picture book My Dog, My Cat.  The text was bold and straight-forward.  Perfect for preschoolers or early readers.  The illustrations matched the style of the text.  Bold colors, fun design, and complimentary to the words.  When I read a picture book that seems to "get it", I find myself smiling.  And this one gave me that "she got it" feeling as I read it.  For that, I want to give debut picture book author/illustrator Fletcher a "high-five". 

Even for an experienced picture book author, it is not easy to get the text to work out just right.  Some books seem too sing-songy and others seem too complex for the targeted audience.  Fletcher's direct style; however, works.  Young children often love animals, especially common household pets such as cats and dogs.  Additionally, the concept of how things are different is one this age group is learning to master.   Pairing the two together is another part of the equations for what works here. 

Now comes the tricky do you get this into the hands of preschool teachers and parents of preschoolers?  Really.  The early childhood teacher in me wants a paperback version...kind of like the ones Scholastic does for their bookclubs...that I can take apart, laminate, re-staple and use with the kids despite sticky fingers and possible rips and tears.  A quick Google search shows that My Dog, My Cat is available on Barnes & Noble's website but even the on-line powerhouse Amazon only carries it through outside sellers.  I certainly hope Tanglewood is able to get this book some more attention.   

Well at least I know one lucky Speech Therapist at my school who will be the recipient of my review copy.   

For more information about Ashlee Fletcher, check out her website: