Today is a “Two-Fer” Day. From Annick Press, author Hazel Hutchins, and illustrator Fanny we have two delightful board books for toddlers and young kids. Both are simply in story and text, which can be the hardest to write. The important word in each is the word up. Being repetitive, it helps the youngest kids gain confidence in their reading and a sense of mastery. The books are both 22 pages, made of thick card to outlast tough little hands, and colorfully inviting. Up Cat and Up Dog will be two favorites of any child lucky enough to receive them.
A feisty kitten welcomes us into her day with a morning stretch, a meal to fortify her for the day, and then she is off. The kitten practices a cat’s nose up, before she creeps up and then leaps up for a toy. If you ever wondered what a kitten does with her day, Up Cat will fill you in on all the fun and havoc. The kitten is adorable with expressions only a cat can produce. I keep saying kitten when it is actually a cat. To me, it is too small with overly delicate features to be a cat, but that is a subjective opinion that has no bearing on the story. Cat or kitten, Up Cat is a lovely book that toddlers and young children will treasure.
Up Dog is a story about a dog being, a dog. Quite opposite the clean cat, the dog has a wonderful day making messes. He happily digs up his bone from the yard and then drags (it) up into the living room so he can comfortably chew up the muddy delicacy. Soon, the, I want to say puppy, is found out and is penned up while his person cleans up the mess. There is a happy ending to the dog’s story. The pen gate lifts up so the dog can race up the stairs and snuggle up with his favorite person. The dog is equally cute clean or muddy. His eyes are so expressive and show his happiness from beginning to end. This little guy is the pup for anyone allergic to dogs …um, oops, toddlers and young kids will fall in love with this happy little guy.
Up Cat and Up Dog are separate books. If your child likes both cats and dogs these two adorably attractive board books make a perfect matched set for the beginning reader or a toddler discovering books. I like the illustrations because they perfectly fit the two words on each page. Can you imagine writing a children’s story with only 45 words? That is the number in Up Dog. Up Cat is a 52-word story. Don’t let the simplicity fool you. Each story has a logical beginning and end, plus middle. They have humor, and entertain. I fell in love with them. The illustrations are as good, if not better, than any picture book out last year, and probably this year. Your child will enjoy reading these two beautiful little darlings over, and over, and over. I think your child will open Up Cat and Up Dog often. I have.
Author: Hazel Hutchins Illustrator: Fanny Publisher: Annick Press Publication Date January 19, 2012 Number of Pages: each 22 ISBN: 978-1-55451-388-8 Up Cat 978-1-55451-389-5 Up Dog