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Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise: Candlewick Sparks Hardcover – September 26, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 530L (What's this?)
  • Series: Houndsley and Catina (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763624055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763624057
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,188,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2–The personable canine and feline friends continue their adventures in this early reader. Houndsley tells Catina that he is sad because he doesn't know his birth date. Worried that he has made her sad, too–she doesn't know when her birthday falls, either–he decides to surprise her with a cake. Catina is up to her own surprises, though, and arranges a birthday party for her pal. Gay's soft watercolor-and-pencil illustrations with collage details are fun and lighthearted, and scenes are filled with activity and assorted sweet-looking animals. The ratio between text and pictures will appeal to new readers.–Sandra Welzenbach, Villarreal Elementary School, San Antonio, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This sequel to Houndsley and Catina (2006) begins with Houndsley the dog feeling blue and his best friend, Catina the cat, wondering why. Walking in the rain with his pal, Houndsley admits that he is sad because he doesn't know when his birthday is. Catina confesses that she doesn't know her birth date either. Within days, each animal has found a way to cheer the other. Published in beginning-reader format, this gentle story will appeal to children's compassion as well as their sense of humor. Though the setting is a cold, sometimes-bleak autumn, Gay's pencil, watercolor, and collage artwork glows with warmth, style, and quiet pizzazz. An appealing book for independent readers in the early grades, the story will also make a good fall read-aloud for preschool classes. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terri Rowan on March 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Houndsley is sad. He doesn't know what date his birthday is on. When he tells Catina, she seems sad, too. She doesn't know, either. In fact, she doesn't know what day to celebrate her birthday, either.

Houndsley didn't mean to make Catina sad, so he decides to make her a surprise. Little does he know that Catina has a plan, too!

Young readers will get a lot out of this book. Birthdays are so important to children that they tend to obsess about it. What about those who don't get to be so excited for their birthdays (for whatever reason)? After reading this short chapter book, kids may be inspired to do something special for others. Even if they aren't, they will still enjoy the sweet illustrations and kind message.

Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer

03/05/2007
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By Diaz on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My 4.5-year-old son, husband and I love the Houndsley and Catina series! The stories highlight compassion and love in friendship as well as the simple pleasures of everyday life. A lot goes on in the stories (playing, creating, surprises, and spontaneity), which helps keep youngsters engaged. I applaud Howe's engaging writing style. And the illustrations parallel the tales' beauty.

In the "The Birthday Surprise" book, I enjoyed the story weaving of sadness feeling with a surprise idea with cake and sweater making.
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More About the Author

James Howe has written more than eighty books in the thirty-plus years he's been writing for young readers. It sometimes confuses people that the author of the humorous Bunnicula series also wrote the dark young adult novel, The Watcher, or such beginning reader series as Pinky and Rex and the E.B. White Read Aloud Award-winning Houndsley and Catina and its sequels. But from the beginning of his career (which came about somewhat by accident after asking himself what kind of vampire a rabbit might make), he has been most interested in letting his imagination take him in whatever direction it cared to. So far, his imagination has led him to picture books, such as I Wish I Were a Butterfly and Brontorina (about a dinosaur who dreams of being a ballerina), mysteries, poetry (in the upcoming Addie on the Inside), and fiction that deals with issues that matter deeply to him. He is especially proud of The Misfits, which inspired national No Name-Calling Week (www.nonamecallingweek.org) and its sequel Totally Joe. He does not know where his imagination will take him in the next thirty-plus years, but he is looking forward to finding out.

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Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise: Candlewick Sparks
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