cover image Dog vs. Cat

Dog vs. Cat

Chris Gall. Little, Brown, $17 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-23801-4

In a story brimming with sight gags, Gall (Awesome Dawson) mines a Cat and Dog’s odd-couple arrangement for laughs. The reluctant roommates meet when their human caretaker, Mr. Button, visits “the animal shelter to pick out a friendly-looking dog” on the same day Mrs. Button purchases a “smart-looking cat.” Like mismatched co-eds, the animals partition their shared space with dotted lines. Laidback, sports-loving Dog messily occupies a corner strewn with slices of pizza, while tidy, straight-laced Cat organizes a science lab and bookshelf with military precision. Their rivalry allows for pranks involving litter boxes, hairballs, high-pitched whistles, and catnip. At last they achieve détente, only to be startled by “a strange howling” that emanates from “the most terrifying creature [they] had ever seen”—a human baby. Gall’s detailed colored pencil cartoons and the pets’ snarky hand-lettered remarks provide punch lines for the deliberately understated text. Dog and Cat’s interactions have a decidedly human bent, and their vexed situation will speak equally to young siblings and college freshmen. Ages 3–6. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)