• Posted on April 29, 2012
Good Caramba hugs Henry

Ay Caramba

My cat has a few skills. She is a master of food procurement, especially the hunting and gathering of fish-flavoured snacks. The white expanse of her impressive belly absorbs the heat of the sun, keeping the house cool in summer. The vibrational pitch of her purrs make fly swatters and wasp repellants entirely unnessary.

Nevertheless, in spite of her talents (and pretty face), my cat cannot fly-a fate shared by Caramba, the star of Marie-Louise Gay’s Caramba and Henry, the second in her series of picture books about a plump, flightless cat. In Caramba’s world, all cats can fly. They are also very colourfully attired, but then…every creature in Marie-Louise Gay’s impressive list of publications, feline or otherwise, sports a crayola-hued pair of trousers, or some other equally bright fashion accessory. And that’s just the clothing. The story is important, and so are the characterizations, but first…always first…is the glorious application of paint to paper. Flying cats are just the bonus.

Read More

  • Posted on April 13, 2011
Mister-Bud-Naps

When Dogs Collide

“Life can be painless, provided that there is sufficient peacefulness for a dozen or so rituals to be repeated simply endlessly.” ~Kurt Vonnegut (Slapstick, 1976)

A very fine philosophy indeed, one shared by this blogger and a very particular mutt named Mister Bud, the star of the new Carter Goodrich book, Say Hello to Zorro! Happily wrapped in a warm blanket of habit and contentment, Mister Bud is blissfully unaware that his life is about to be turned upside down by the arrival of…well, I’ll save that for later.

As the baby in a large family, I have not personally experienced the trauma of being usurped from an established position within the family hierarchy, but I’ve certainly heard all about it from my older siblings. Or should I say, my next oldest sibling. Apparently, I was referred to as ‘it’ before my parents (eventually) intervened. I get it. Change sucks, and who wants to share the spotlight, and especially, the Easy-Bake Oven? Enter Mister Bud, a dog who has it figured out. Everything in the house, including the house, ’belongs’ to him, and governing all is the schedule, rigorously adhered to, comprising frequent meals, walks, ‘greet and make a fuss time’, cuddling, movies, backyard time, and of course, naps. Things are pretty good for this pampered pooch, until the day Zorro arrives; a tiny pug with a big personality, a pronounced underbite, and just a tinge of bossiness. Life in Budville will never be the same. Read More