Jessie Bear's Reviews > Houndsley and Catina Plink and Plunk

Houndsley and Catina Plink and Plunk by James Howe
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's review
Nov 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ages-6-7, animals, cats, dogs, early-reader, friendship, self-esteem, si-624, outdoors, bicycling, canoeing, swimming, honesty

Two friends embark on outdoor activities, discovering the power of friendship through conquering fears and acquiring new skills. This heart-warming tale spans three chapters. Together, the story is stronger than if the chapters were read as a stand-alone, as the third chapter unites the first two and provides a satisfying resolution. The worries and new skills Houndsley and Catina deal with, swimming and riding a two-wheeled bicycle, are appropriately relevant to the target reading audience. The text is broken up unevenly, with varying amounts of words on each page. Some pages have only a few sentences while some have an unbroken page of text, transitioning early readers into a more text-heavy format. The illustrations still break up the story well, and like the text, vary in size up to an entire page. This book is illustrated using watercolor, pencil, and collage, which is especially successful in depicting the trees and water of the outdoor settings. Each picture shows the characters moving or interacting, capturing the main elements of the story. This early reader carries excellent morals about honesty, facing fears, and trying something new, supported by a tale of strong, solid friendship. It is highly recommended for children ages six through seven.

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