Houndsley and Catina
James Howe, author
Marie-Louise Gay, illustrator
2006

Houndsley and Catina are best friends (and a dog and cat). Howe does a marvelous job of making Houndsley gentle, but very dog-like, and Catina is very cat-like (at least, what I think of cat-like as being…just a tad uptight and finicky!). Houndsley is a boy, and Catina is a girl. They are true friends in the long line of best friends we’ve come to know in early chapter books: Frog and Toad, George and Martha,….

These books are quiet books which celebrate friendship. They are a touch ahead of the Frog and Toad reading level and would work well for anyone transitioning from Frog and Toad to early chapter books.

Gay’s artwork is charming and provides some delightful enrichment to the text. In one picture, for instance, Catina has come over to Houndsley’s for dinner. Nothing is said in the text about the weather, but the illustration shows us a dark, stormy night and Catina’s umbrella propped up in the corner–complete with cat head handle.

I’ve not read all the titles but will list them below. We’ve enjoyed Houndsley and Catina and The Quiet Time.

  • Houndsley and Catina
  • Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise
  • Houndsley and Catina Plink and Plunk
  • Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time
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