#922-923 – Me and My Dog & Me and My Cat by Michael Dahl

Today is National Mutt Day, also known as Mixed-Breed Dog Day. “National Mutt Day is all about embracing, saving, and celebrating mixed breed dogs.” (Read more about National Mutt Day after the review.)

Today’s titles are perfect for National Mutt’s Day. Two young children are ready to tell you all about living with a pet dog or cat.

combomeandmydogcat Me and My Dog AND Me and My Cat
Series: Me and My Pet
Written by Michael Dahl
Illustrated by Zoe Persico
Picture Window Books  8/01/2016
978-1-5158-0238-9  //  978-1-5158-0239-6
24 pages   Ages 3—6

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Me and My Dog
“You love your dog. Your dog loves you. You are BEST friends. But even best friends don’t do everything together—and that’s okay!” [back cover]

Having a dog for your pet is terrific fun. You can do so many things together. But the young boy understands that sometimes their interests just do not match. For example, the boy likes to swing, but not so much the dog. The dog likes to dig holes, but not so much the boy. Both the young boy and his dog like to be adventurous and crazy, but the boy likes to add lots of noise, the dog does not.

I bet Michael Dahl had a canine friend growing up, considering how well the author seems to understand dogs. The boy enjoys sharing his toys with friends. His dog often will not even share his toys with the boy. The young boy concludes by making it clear he loves being with his dog better than anything else he could be doing.

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Me and My Cat
“Your cat is a BIG part of your family. You love your cat! Treat your cat right and she’ll love you just as much.” [back cover]

If you prefer kitties, Me and My Cat would be a good match. A young dark complexion child loves her gray cat. She loves her cat but understand how cats can become picky. Sure, they both like to run, jump, and lay in the sun, but unlike the girl, the cat does not water and will not swim. The young girl likes to play with her friends chasing each other and playing tag. The cat prefers to chase mice and butterflies. A good point the girl makes is how cats often only likes things when done on “her terms.” Even though the young girl and her cat have differences, she loves her cat and loves spending time with her.

watercat

Review
I love these smaller picture books. They are the right size for little hands to grip on their own. The illustrations are cute and cartoonish, which kids will love. In Me and My Dog the young boy is white. In the companion book, Me and My Cat, the youngster is a dark-skinned young girl. I appreciate this diversity in characters, but why is it boys get the dog—a male dog—while girls get the cat—a female cat. I would have LOVED to see this reversed, just once.

I like how the boy understands there are foods his dog cannot eat without becoming ill, possibly extremely ill. The girl does not have this same understanding. Cats beg for treats and human food as much as dog’s beg. I think this is a lost opportunity, though I understand how the author and publisher would want the two books as different as possible while maintaining the theme of the series.

The young girl said cats likes things on “her terms.” This is very true of most cats, but a few other observations are off. Some cats enjoy the water, preferring to sit in a sink or swim in a pool. But mostly, cats may shy away from hugs, but a good rub is perfect and welcome nearly all day and night. I’ve never known a cat who preferred not “being petted too much . . .”

On the last page, the pets take over the narrator duties. Each has written an identical note to readers. Both pets say they hope to be friends forever and to facilitate this, tell readers how to treat them. The pets both want respect.

Be Kind: Pet your dog (cat) softly.
Be Polite: Let a sleeping cat (dog) sleep and an eating dog (cat) eat.
Be Respectful: Respect your cat’s (dog’s) space.”

Before anyone mentions it, yes, the titles would be grammatically correct as “My Dog and Me” and “My Cat and Me,” but toddlers generally put themselves first, even before a pet. A toddler most often says, “Me and mommy,” and “Me and my friend John.” Should authors and publishers keep sentences and titles grammatically correct every time? No, not if it doesn’t fit.

Overall, the two youngsters and their pets give good advice about having a pet in your life as your best friend. Respect for others, whether a pet or another person is a wonderful message, and one not forced upon the reader. This series is also perfect for a child wanting a dog or cat. The child can learn a little about each animal and possibly decide which would be better suited for him or her. In any event, Me and My Dog and Me and My Cat are entertaining, beautiful to look at, and a fun read aloud.

ME AND MY DOG and Me and My Cat (Me and My Pet). Text copyright © 2016 by Michael Dahl. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Zoe Persico. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, PUBLISHER, New York, NY.

Me and My Dog: AmazonIndie BooksCapstone
Me and My Cat: AmazonIndie BooksCapstone

Find Me and My Dog on Goodreads HERE.
Find Me and My Cat on Goodreads HERE.

Michael Dahl:  http://www.michaeldahlwrites.com/
Follow on Twitter          @MeMichaelDahl

Zoe Persico:  http://www.zoepersico.com/
Follow on Twitter          @zobobafoozieart

Picture Window Books:  http://www.capstonepub.com/
Follow on Twitter          @CapstonePub

Picture Window Books is an imprint of Capstone.

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Reprinted with permission from ME AND MY DOG and ME AND MY CAT © 2016 by Michael Dahl, Picture Window Books, an imprint of Capstone, Illustrations © 2016 by Zoe Persico.

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Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Me and My Dog
Series: Me and My Pet
Written by Michael Dahl
Illustrated by Zoe Persico
Picture Window Books 8/01/2016
9781515802389

Me and My Cat
Series: Me and My Pet
Written by Michael Dahl
Illustrated by Zoe Persico
Picture Window Books  8/01/2016
978151580239

National Mutt Day
This is a particularly important cause for me. A great majority of euthanized dogs are mixed-breed. The desire for a designer and purebred dogs has created an overwhelming number of puppy mills, where dogs live in deplorable conditions, often mistreated, neglected, and have health issues throughout their lives. Most end up in pet shops by way of auctions—some go for as little as one dollar. People desiring these expensive designer dogs usually have no idea what they are purchasing or what these dogs have been through.

That is not to say some designer/purebred dogs do not come from qualified breeders, because they do. Still, purebred dogs have a large number of genetic ailments, something not seen in such large numbers in mixed-breed dogs. Shelter dogs, or rescue dogs, have been through a lot of horror in their short lives. Amazingly, these shelter/rescue dogs tend to be the kindest, loyalist, most grateful and loving dogs you will ever meet. They also tend to behave better than designer/purebred dogs. Shelter/rescue dogs tend to be healthier and live longer. They are just as smart and capable as other dogs and have been the choice of law enforcement in many countries. I know. My little guy—a Chihuahua—is a rescue dog. I’m with rescue dogs each day and would not miss this time for anything.

If you are looking for a companion dog, please check out local shelters and rescue organizations in your area. This holds true for cats, as well. Not much is said about cat rescues, but they exist and need your help. Cats are interesting and loving pets. Most cats are happier in pairs, if you have the room and finances for two pets. I have been owed by two cats most of my adult life and would never be without them or my dog. National Mutt Day occurs twice a year on July 31st and December 2nd. Please make National Mutt Day National Mutt Year.   ~Thanks, Sue

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4 thoughts on “#922-923 – Me and My Dog & Me and My Cat by Michael Dahl

  1. You NAILED it about rescues, S. Well done. xoxo Even an older rescue like me, from a high kill shelter – with bite marks on my head and nails that were so long they were turning curly – can become the perfect pet, graduate obedience school with flying colors, and work at the VA and library as a therapy dog!

    Love and extra licks,
    Cupcake

    Like

    • Aw, I just knew you were a rescue. Being a therapy dog is tough work. Your momma must be very proud of you. I am extremely thrilled you found your furever home, like my Jonathan found his. 2 good homes for 2 good dogs. Who’s next? (Did Erik say his Clyde a rescue dog?)

      Like

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