cover image Good Dogs

Good Dogs

Charles Ghigna, David Catrow. Hyperion Books, $7.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-290-3

These witty picture books will unite both those antipathetic and those affectionate to animals, as Ghigna and Catrow rather literally articulate the concept of a flip side. ``Good Cats,'' says one cover, which shows a fat feline langorously reading ``The Owl and the Pussycat'' to a circle of rapt mice. Flip the volume over and the cover, emblazoned with ``Bad Cats,'' depicts a cat--armed with a rifle and clad in hunter's togs--intently staking out a birdhouse. Inside, two series of rhyming verses (one dedicated to the virtues of the dog or cat, the other enumerating its vices, the two meeting in the middle of the book) declaim the beasts' opposing natures. In illustrations somewhat reminiscent of Ronald Searle's felines, Catrow contributes extremely inventive scenarios: ``cats land always on their feet'' captions a picture of a feline who, having crashed through the roof into a living room, stands atop a cluster of shingles; ``dogs are loyal, dogs defend'' accompanies a hound, outfitted in a military helmet, that has laid sandbags around its doghouse. By turns slapstick and sophisticated, the humor here will snare adults as well as children. All ages. (Sept.)