cover image A Cat and a Dog

A Cat and a Dog

Claire Masurel, C. Masurel, B. Kolar. NorthSouth, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-55858-949-0

These cohabitating pets are fighting like, well, cats and dogs. ""See these claws? Stay away from my mouse!"" warns the belligerent blue cat. ""See these fangs? Stay away from my ball!"" rejoins the obstreperous orange dog. But when cat's toy mouse falls in the water, and dog's ball gets stuck up a tree, the animals discover they can help each other. When last seen, they're sharing a once heavily disputed rug as ""the best of friends."" It's a familiar little fable, but Masurel's (Ten Dogs in the Window) stripped-down text doesn't belabor the moral, while Kolar's (Stomp, Stomp!) highly stylized watercolor-and-ink characterizations against a predominantly white background further distill the drama down to its comic essence. His dog and cat have tiny eyes that are perfect for shooting sidelong glances at each other, and their sausage-like bodies are surrounded by auras of colors that make them look like they are equipped with personal no-fly zones. He color-codes the cat with its mouse toy and the dog with its ball, and conveys a peaceful color harmony when they gather united on the rug. Ages 6 mos.-3 yrs. (Apr.)