cover image Cool Cat, Hot Dog

Cool Cat, Hot Dog

Sandy Turner, . . S&S/Atheneum, $16.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-689-84946-6

Throughout this book of crafty collages, illustrated in speckled earth-tone papers with subtle pencil lines and multimedia details, a cat and dog trade self-descriptions. "I've got scratchy claws," says a calico with a black mask and white chin, making stripes down the back of a chair. "I've got padded paws," counters an Airedale-like pooch with a tawny face and perky ears, holding up a real pawprint inked on cut paper. Their characteristic attitudes help explain the title: "I meow. I'm cool," Cat says, sitting calmly. "I prefer to bark. I'm hot," says Dog, straining at a red leash and filling a voice bubble with scribbled growls. Turner (Otto's Trunk ) places Cat on the left-hand side of each spread and Dog on the right. The animals contrast their different features and personalities ("My tongue is rough..../ My tongue is smooth..../ I'm mysterious..../ I'm man's best friend"), and humor peppers the pairings ("I chase leaves./ I chase thieves"). But in the final spreads the two sniff the air and say in unison, "Hey, let's get fed!" As they loll on a black-and-white checkerboard floor and linoleum-look marbleized surface, they reveal that despite their quibbles they do have appetites (and a home) in common. There's something for cat fanciers and dog groupies alike here, and Turner's casual, artfully composed piecework imagery rewards close inspection. Ages 3-7. (July)