#454 – The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets by Stanley & Katrina “Pet Authors”

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original cover perpetual pets.

The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets

by Stanley and Katrina, “pet authors”

Miro Chun, illustrator

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Website:  After three years of living under the same roof as the dog in the house, Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom decides to write a letter to her canine housemate, Stanley. Katrina loves treats, naps and bossing the dog around. Stanley loves snow, attention and turkey. The diva kitty Katrina will have none of Stanley’s antics and most certainly will not stand for him eating her food. The only reasonable solution is to take him to Kitty Court.

Opening:  The dog in the bed in the corner of the basement. Dear Dog, A you know we have rivaled each other since the time we first met, three years ago.”

Review

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge, an eight-year-old tabby and Stanley, a black Labrador-Rottweiler mix, send letters back and forth in an attempt to live together in harmony. Katrina initiates the letters, upset with Stanley eating her food. Stanley refuses to stop. This is an interesting story between two species that normally do not get along. Having them safely writing letters is a great way of letting each speak their mind without fear. Oh, and it is hilarious.

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Katrina has a vivid imagination and loves to construct the truth based on her own needs. Her Wise Cat Council, a “board” that lives in the far basement and makes up the rules on how the pets are to live, is one example. The council is unusual, for none of them is a cat. Katrina declares she is the Wise Cat and this is her council, hence the Wise Cat Council.

Then there is Katrina’s Kitty Court, where she takes Stanley in regards to his eating her food. She even tells Stanley she has hired them both attorneys—cat attorneys, Sir Fluffy for her and Lawyer Snookums for Stanley. Hm, I wonder which is more decisive a lawyer, Sir or Lawyer; Fluffy or Snookums? I will not say who won, but it matters none to Stanley as he insists on continuing to eat Katrina’s food.

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There are a few problems with this story. First, many of the sentences are merely fragments, the narrator changes depending on Katrina, which is supposed to be funny, but I found annoying. The story could have been tighter if a bit more editing had been done. This might have also caught those sentence fragments. The illustrations, while adorable, are simple line drawings. If the illustrations had some color, they would have spiced up the look of the book and given the eye a break. There are large spaces of white, which are extremely hard on the eyes, at least in the digital version I was given to review.

I love the back-and-forth between these two creatures. In the end, even though Katrina seems to be in control, I think Stanley has had the upper hand the entire time. It would have been fun if Stanley had countered some of Katrina’s moves. He could have taken her to Doggy Court, hired dog lawyers—Lawyer Spots for Katrina and Attorney Pit Bull for himself. Stanley does none of this. I hope the rest of the series is as entertaining as The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets.

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Anyone who loves dogs, cats, or zany stories will like The Perpetual Papers. (I am not sure what or who is the “of the Pack of Pets.”) The story is easy to read with its simple sentences and words, making this a good chapter book (told it is a middle grade book). The humor is low-key, with nothing parents would object to their child reading. This is a series and the next book, The Animals Will Now Attempt Agility, previews after the story. The opening line: “It is a dark and stormy day. Thunder rumbles like a lion’s roar as I write this sentence.” Katrina is once again in her element. There are various printable activities (above image), on the book’s website, which should not be missed.

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The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets

by Stanley & Katrina, “pet authors”    website    blog    facebook    twitter

Miro Chun, illustrator    website    blog

Released September 11, 2013

ISBN:  978-148122548-9

106 pages

Age 8 to 12

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original cover

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Kid Lit Printables for all activities

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Stanley & Katrina “Pet Authors”

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THE PERPETUAL PAPERS OF THE PACK OF PETS. Text copyright © 2013 by Felicia Maziarz. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Miro Chun. Reproduced by permission of the author.

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22 thoughts on “#454 – The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets by Stanley & Katrina “Pet Authors”

  1. OK, this feels like Deja Vu! Now where have I seen this book before? *scratches head* Oh, yeah! lol 😉

    And, also, my first impression of this book as far as type—I was thinking Chapter Book, too.

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  2. I loved this book!!! :mrgreen: I must say – I consider Junie B. Jones and such to be Chapter Books. Early Chapter Books are books like Henry and Mudge. Middle Grade is books like Charlotte’s Web… but that’s my opinion… 🙂

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  3. I have to admit to being puzzled about the color picture discussion. In my experience, middle grade (juvvy) books have B&W illustrations if at all, except in some of the older books with lovely color plates (as my ancient copies of Little Women etc.). Chapter books (for early readers) are more apt to have color, but really, once past picture books and the really early readers (Mr. Putter and Tabby have color, but Junie B does not), not many have color illustrations these days. At least not the ones that show up at our library.

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    • I bet you do. It is a funny read. Maybe you can learn something that will give you some ammunition. My cat just climbed on top of the refrigerator, knocked off a cardboard roll, which hit several glass bowls, THEN looked at me like I did it. Imperious is a good word.

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      • Who says cats are imperious? Well, I guess everyone except cats do.
        Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge

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        • Cats are not imperious! Important, immortal, image conscious, but not imperious. I didn’t mean to hit the gasses, but why would anyone put a refrigerator where a cat like me can climb it?

          Baby Girl

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  4. This book does sound humorous and like a fun read, for sure. I agree with you that the illustrations, because of their simplicity could have used a splash of color. But,the way the animals communicate kind of goes with the simplistic illustrations. I’m interested to read it. Thanks for the review, Sue.

    Diane Robinson

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    • I like color in all the illustrations. Economics and tradition have different viewpoints. Read this. You could learn a thing or two about the relationship between your cats and dogs. 🙂

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  5. Hi Sue, thanks for another honest review. I thought the humour of this was fantastic as I believe kids totally get it. As for coloured illustrations….Hmmmm, You have been spoiled by big budget books like Hocus Pocus Hotel and their glamour pages…..I know that most traditional publishers would only include pencil sketches on the inside of their books if any, as the cost of producing coloured pages inside is exorbitant. He He, just my two cents worth……

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      • Each book is judge separately. The illustrations in the Sir Petra Princess books have shading and layers of white, greys, and blacks. It is also a chapter book, which traditionally have black and white illustrations, while middle grade books are illustrated in color.

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        • It is funny, Stanley & Katrina were told early on that their book was middle grade due to the vocabulary, but they have since decided that it is really a chapter book – like Judy Moody/Junie B. Jones type of book. Interestingly enough, since they started with that idea (middle grade), it still sticks and when asked to be included with other middle grade authors in promotions, they are thrilled and jump at the chance. If you ask the pets or Neighbor Girl now though, their book is a chapter book not middle grade – in the Cybils, they entered in the Short Chapter Book category. 🙂

          They are all napping from their rough day, so I thought I would share with you.
          Have a great night all and thanks again, Sue!
          ~Cool Mom/Christine M.

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          • Who told them what age group? I think the premise is more middle grade but the sentences and humor is definitely chapter book. It can be more confusing to decide the age group a book should be in when the main character(s) are animals (and it is not a picture book).

            With kids it is easier, it all depends on the age of the protagonist and the content: middle grade has no romance in it. Only simple little crushes. Any more and it is to be YA. Protag over age 13 is YA. ( per writer’s digest and publisher’s weekly articles) But Katrina and Stanley have odd ages. If Stanley is 2 he is 14. Katrina is about the same (I forget the formula). With no publisher telling you where the book will fit, it is really up to you.

            Good Luck in the Cybils! Let me know if you win. I’ll do a shout out. 🙂

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            • I can’t remember who told them it should be in middle grade…probably some article they read online led them to that – I must ask them. 🙂
              Thanks for the well wishes. I will pass them along. They are just happy to see their book on the list with others, for The Cybils!
              Thanks again, Sue.
              ~Cool Mom/Christine M.

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    • Julie, you do have a point, it is more expensive to print in color and non-traditionally published authors are at a disadvantage when it comes to budgets, but all books are reviewed with the same expectations. To be easier on non-traditionally published books implies they are unable and not expected to compete with traditionally published books. I do not believe this. Also, this was presented to me as a middle grade book. Middle grade books traditionally have color illustrations. Chapter books/early readers traditionally have black and white illustrations. I do not know why.

      I appreciate your thorough comment and the jolly attitude you always have. I love your sense of humor. 🙂 I also like how you stand up for your author friends, BUT how can you be friends with BOTH a cat and a dog? Really, girl, choose one or the other. I think Katrina the Witty Kitty and Stanley the True Star of The Perpetual Papers both would insist upon complete loyalty. Pets can be a pain . . . stakingly lovely family additions. 😀

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  6. Ms. Morris –

    Thank you so much for participating in our Book Blasty Tour, and for taking the time to give our book such a detailed and honest review. We are thrilled that you found our book entertaining and hilarious. Hmmm…maybe we need to find the crayons to add color to our pictures? That could be fun!

    Yay, for four stars from Kid-Lit-Reviews!

    Happy, dancing paws,

    Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom & Knowledge
    ~=^.^=

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    • I would love to see your coloring of these illustrations. Is it true that cats and dogs cannot see the full spectrum of colors? I have heard red is trouble–red is my favorite color. 😦

      I am happy you are pleased. I was dreading you taking me in front of the Cat Court or in front of the cat council (sorry if I have the wrong names). I do have two cats who loved your entries in the book. I think they are being biased, but they disagree. They told me I had to tell you I would be happy to review your next book. 🙂

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  7. Sue, Great review! I was wondering who the pack were too. The book sounds really adorable. Love the trailer! I’m going to pick this one up!

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