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Houndsley and Catina Hardcover – March 14, 2006

8 customer reviews

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Houndsley and Catina + Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise: Candlewick Sparks + Houndsley and Catina Plink and Plunk: Candlewick Sparks
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2 Catina, who has just completed Life Through the Eyes of a Cat, looks forward to winning prizes and being famous. Houndsley thinks that the book is terrible, but spares her feelings by telling her that her writing leaves him speechless. He is such a good cook that Catina and their friend Burt convince him to enter a cooking contest, but he is so nervous that he undercooks the rice and leaves out the beans in his three-bean chili. In the end, Houndsley realizes that he is happy to experience the joy of cooking; he can live without fame, and Catina confesses that she does not enjoy the process of writing. Houndsley suggests that she can be famous for something else and tells her that she is good at being a friend. Catina purrs: Being your friend is better than being famous. Gay presents distinctive watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations in varying layouts to illuminate the story. The dog and cat exude emotion and motion in modest, vintage homes and beautiful outdoor settings. This intimate look at friendship is a welcome addition to series such as Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad (HarperCollins) and Elissa Haden Guest's Iris and Walter (Harcourt). Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. Catina (a cat) and Houndsley (you guessed it, a dog) are best friends, and they encourage each other as best friends do. Houndsley is mortified when he reads his friend's novel-in-progress, and realizes that Catina has little writing talent. "I'm at a loss for words," he finally musters, satisfying Catina, who seems focused on literary prizes and fame instead of the actual writing. Then Catina encourages Houndsley to enter a cooking competition, and he's so nervous that he fouls the recipe and endures the judges' mockery. Together the friends confess that, rather than simply enjoying their activities, they secretly wanted to become famous. This early chapter book, while emphasizing doing what you love, not what will bring acknowledgment, is heavy-handed. But it will still hit home with kids just learning about their own particular talents and passions, and the lively, brisk writing is wonderfully extended in Gay's airy watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, which keep the focus on the caring friends. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 580L (What's this?)
  • Series: Houndsley and Catina (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (March 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763624047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763624040
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,479,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 ( 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Homa Woodrum on January 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
After I read this book with my three-year-old, I returned the next day to the bookstore to get the rest of the series, the artwork is beautiful and the stories are truly charming. In this first book, Catina writes her memoirs because she wishes to be famous but she is not a very good writer. Houndsley is tactful and supportive. In the second chapter, Houndsley is encouraged by his friends to enter a cooking competition but he gets so nervous he even forgets the beans in his three bean (vegetarian) chili. In the third chapter, the friends resolve their experiences in the first two chapters and watch fireflies together. My mother in law said she wished Catina didn't admit to disliking writing but I thought it was good that she could be honest with her friend. The other books are equally fantastic. I think they are wonderful read-aloud books but would be a good for beginning readers as the print is large and the chapters are short. One of my favorite aspects of these books is that the characterizations are sophisticated even in a few words. We get a feel for each character and who they are and I like seeing that in this level of book instead of the ubiquitous early reader books that just rehash tv shows or movies (not that those don't have their place but original work is deserving of our attention and praise). Love, love, love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A favorite series all around at our house. I love the lessons it teaches, my daughter loves the story and pictures...and the fact that she is reading a chapter book.
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Format: Paperback
For a beginner this is the perfect beginner chapter book. It is written in 3 parts that are easy for the reader to follow.

Chapter 1 is all about Catina and her passion. She wants to be a famous writer. She writs all day long and finally shares her work with Houndsley.

Chapter 2 is about Houndsley. He love to cook. Catina, wanting to see him famous encourages him to enter a cooking contest. The contest does not turn out to be what he was expecting.

Chapter 3 is about the power of friendship. After getting to know both characters and their passions, the book ends off with that is really important in life.

I love this book because it is not only easy to read, but the lesson is very clear and amazing. There is nothing more important then the power of friends and friendship.
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Format: Hardcover
A premier publisher of audio book adaptations of children's picturebooks, Live Oak Media has produced audio editions of an outstanding title by author James Howe and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay. "Houndsley and Catina" is the story of Catina the cat who wants to be a successful writer, while Houndsley the dog is a rather good cook who aspires to winning an important cooking contest. While the two of them seek fame, they find that having a good friend is an even better reward for doing what they love to do and are so very good at. In addition to being available as a hardcover/CD combination, this outstanding and highly recommended title is also available as paperback/CD, hardcover/cassette, and paperback/cassette editions.
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