Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Dogs and Cats

Dogs and Cats

Spring 2007 Picture Books
Ages: Infant
Author: Steve Jenkins
Illustrator: Steve Jenkins
ISBN: 978-0-618-50767-2
Hardcover Price: $16.00
This Book is a two'fer: read it one way to find out about dogs; flip it over and read it the other way to find out about cats. Jenkin's signature cut-paper illustrations are highly textured and artfully assembled, if somewhat devoid of motion. Some pages are quite striking; the tiger, for instance, seems to leap right off the surface of the paper to lunge directly at the reader, and even dedicated dog-lovers may feel like snatching their fingers away from the Dalmation's teeth. Other pages, however, seem jumbled, text heavy and unfocused. Different scales are contributing to an erroneous sense of proportion. The feline and canine texts systematically present parallel-and sometimes fascinating-information but the organization gives them a mechanical feel especially when read back-to back. Captions often fail to identify breeds...a disservice to young pet fanciers who are often fixated on that very piece of information. The individually handsome illustrations set against blank white backgrounds echo the factoid-filled text which is lacking in context.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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Houghton Mifflin Children's Books

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