cover image Selected Shorts: Pets!

Selected Shorts: Pets!

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, , read by Jane Curtin, Kate Burton and others. . Symphony Space, $28 ( , unabridged selections, three CDs, 3 hrs., $28 ISBN p) ISBN 978-1-934033-01-2

This audio collection takes in a range of creatures and wry twists that form a timely antidote to the current trend of putting pets on pedestals. The most notable tale is Gail Godwin’s “St. George,” in which Curtin captures both the hilarity and poignancy of a dragon’s short sojourn in the apartment of a baffled medievalist. T.C. Boyle’s “Heart of a Champion” lampoons the Lassie TV show. Isaiah Sheffer narrates the tale with gusto and great timing, but some of his diction is off. The cat stories are uneven. Charles Keating has great fun with Robertson Davies’s “The Cat That Went to Trinity,” a clever spoof of Frankenstein . Max Steele’s “The Cat and the Coffee Drinkers” is only peripherally about a fighting tomcat, though well read by Paul Hecht. Ana Menendez’s “Story of a Parrot” rounds out the collection. Jacqueline Kim is perhaps too accurately shrill as she acts out a harridan housewife’s encounter with a sly bird. This is a clever collection that will be great fun for animal lovers. (Sept.)