cover image Happy and Honey

Happy and Honey

Laura Godwin. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-83406-6

Godwin's (Oh, Cats!) staccato narrative introduces a frisky kitten (""Meet Honey. Honey likes to play"") and a drowsy dog (""Meet Happy. Happy likes to sleep""). In Happy and Honey, the kitten repeatedly attempts to rouse the dozing pooch, who finally awakens and plays with his feline friend. In the slightly cleverer second plot, Honey insists on helping Happy dig a hole to bury a bone. After Happy places the treasure in a ""big hole,"" Honey digs a ""little hole"" and unearths the bone, which Happy is happy to see again. The limited vocabulary and intentional repetition may well make it easier for youngsters to recognize words but creates a certain monotonousness. As spare as the text, Chapman's (Dora's Eggs) acrylic pictures feature only the two characters on blank ground; this choice entails a limited palette and inescapable visual repetition. On the plus side, those just starting to read on their own will feel proud to be holding a volume with a trim size associated with chapter rather than picture books. Ages 2-5. (Oct.)