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Houndsley and Catina Plink and Plunk: Candlewick Sparks Hardcover – April 14, 2009

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

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–3—Houndsley and Catina are back in a brand-new springtime adventure. Catina's constant chatter once again ruins Houndsley's canoe trip, but he doesn't understand why she suddenly clams up after a wave rocks the boat. Catina can't understand why Houndsley doesn't want to ride his new bicycle. In the end, the two friends help one another overcome their fears. The three episodes seem disjointed at first, but the language is playful and precise and the action comes together for a satisfying conclusion. Houndsley and Catina's misunderstandings will resonate with early elementary readers. Gay's gentle cartoons, done in pen-and-ink and watercolor, sprawl across the pages while leaving plenty of white space around the text to encourage beginning readers.—Rebecca Dash, New York Public Library
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From Booklist

Houndsley loves to canoe on the lake—except with his best friend, Catina, who talks incessantly when they’re on the water. While Catina loves to ride her bicycle, Houndsley doesn’t. When he confesses that he doesn’t know how to ride and Catina admits that she can’t swim, each helps the other learn. Told in three short chapters, the stories are satisfying individually and even better in sequence. Bits of humor brighten the fluid text, while the lovely pencil, watercolor, and collage illustrations glow with warmth and good spirits. From the Houndsley and Catina series, an encouraging book on overcoming fears. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • Series: Houndsley and Catina
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763633852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763633851
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,639,325 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

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I first heard about Houndsley and Catina in the best possible way. The way that's even better than librarian recommendations, blog reviews, or advanced reader galleys. A year or so ago I was sitting at my reference desk, minding my own business, when a child that couldn't have been much more than six years of age came up to me. "Do you have Houndsley and Catina?" Part of my training is meant to encourage me to avoid the-blank-stare. The-blank-stare is death to any reference question. I covered up my confusion with a perky, "Let's see!" and then desperately started searching the catalog. To my amazement we did indeed have something called "Houndsley and Catina" in the collection. More amazing still, it appeared to be by that James Howe fellow. You know the guy who wrote all those Bunnicula books then turned around and started doing awesome YA novels as well like "Totally Joe"? Now he was doing early readers? I gave the now ecstatic girl one copy, then snatched the other from the shelf and started reading it on the sly. You know how sometimes something brilliant falls through the cracks? Yeah. That was definitely the case here. Within seconds I was enthralled, then depressed. How had I missed this? It was small comfort when the book won the E.B. White Readaloud Award later that year. I still wished I'd known enough to read it and recommend it and review it when it was first available. Now I have that chance again.Read more ›
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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.

In the "Plink and Plunk" book, the story beautifully illustrates difficulties/fears (that is, bike riding and swimming) being confronted with friends' understanding and compassion. After we read the story for the first time, my son said "That's a pretty story." I applaud Howe's engaging writing style. And the illustrations parallel the tales' beauty.
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Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book! I read this to my 5 yr old and my 7 yr old listened as well. So refreshing to see a book with some real substance and one that demonstrates such love and compassion for ones' friends. My 7 year old has been very frustrated that she has not been able to master riding a bike. This was a lovely story about understanding others' fears and limitations and how to be a good friend.
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