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A stray dog pretends he's a cat in order to get a home

When Widget, a little stray dog, stumbles through a flap door into the home of Mrs. Diggs, he sees six cats, six bowls of food, and six warm beds. There's clearly only one thing to do. Confronted by the cats' intense scrutiny, Widget meows, purrs, plays with a toy mouse, and uses the litter box. Having eventually convinced his new family of his felinity, Widget is soon living so happily he sometimes forgets his true nature. But when Mrs. Diggs takes a fall and doesn't get up, it's up to Widget to save the day with a particularly canine solution.

A very simple text and droll pictures make Widget a book to read again and again.

32 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2001

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Lyn Rossiter McFarland

6 books4 followers

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5 stars
181 (38%)
4 stars
189 (40%)
3 stars
83 (17%)
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17 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 94 reviews
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
July 4, 2020
Widget is a stray dog without a home, until one day he finds a flap door leading into the cozy home of Mrs. Diggs. After peeking in, he notices she has the perfect setup for her six cats—hot food and cozy beds. Surely Mrs. Diggs is a warm-hearted lover of pets, but will she and her six female cats be willing to make room for Widget?

This book is so much fun to read. The story is laugh-out-loud hilarious at times. I have no doubt anyone with animals will love this story. It’s simple for young readers, and the illustrations are perfect.

Profile Image for Julie.
1,864 reviews38 followers
July 22, 2020
What a lovely happy book! By page 3, I was smiling. By the end, I was shaking with laughter! The illustrations are exquisite!
Profile Image for Aimee.
306 reviews18 followers
April 3, 2016
The preschoolers at the library really liked this one! Widget, a lonely stray dog, finds a nice lady to live with, but there's one problem: she has six cats who don't like dogs! Widget initially pretends to be a cat, until his owner really needs him to be a dog, and the cats accept him. It's not just a cute story, it'll tug at your heart strings too.
Profile Image for Robin Raines-Bond.
1,144 reviews2 followers
September 21, 2017
Super cute story about a sweet, lonely dog who pretends to be a cat so that he can have a home with 6 other cats. He almost forgets he is a dog until a dog is needed.
Profile Image for Anna.
1,998 reviews12 followers
August 5, 2021
This was a really cute book. It was nothing like I had expected and I loved that. The story is really sweet and a bit humorous at times. It made me smile. Illustrations were great, except for the neighbors. They looked like creepy hovering ghosts (even though they weren't ghosts).
Profile Image for Asho.
1,716 reviews8 followers
March 25, 2019
The children's librarian recommended this book to L, knowing that she is always looking for new "puppy books" to read. We all really enjoyed this one! The illustrations are absolutely adorable, and the story of Widget the dog who has to act like a cat to fit in at his new home was cute and funny. All of the animals' mannerisms are depicted so accurately through the illustrations that they would be fun to look at and laugh at even in absence of the text. But the story is sweet, too, with a basic lesson of people (animals) having different skills that can be useful and should be appreciated and accepted.
Profile Image for Maggie.
61 reviews5 followers
April 23, 2008
CIP: "A small stray dog is accpeted into a household full of cats by learning to "fit in," but when his mistress is hurt, he demonstrates that being a dog is not all bad."

Lonely and homeless, Widget find a potential home--if he can learn how to fit in with his new roommates. A delightful story for the preschool crowd with beautiful illustrations that add to the humorous tale. Recommended for ages 3 through 6.

Horn Book: "When Widget, a stray dog, wanders into Mrs. Diggs's home filled with six cats, he meows, purrs, and uses the litter box-anything to fit in. It isn't until Mrs. Diggs falls that Widget acts like a dog again, and his barking rouses the neighbors. Appealing illustrations shown from the animals' perspective add character to this humorous story."

SJL: Favorable review: "a preschool crowd pleaser, just right for storytime."

Profile Image for Lauren Kramer-Theuerkauf.
Author 2 books41 followers
January 2, 2018
Widget is a stray dog searching for a home. While walking in the rain, he discovers the house of Mrs. Diggs. The house is warm and cozy...and filled with cats!

Mrs. Diggs wants Widget to stay but that will be up to her six cats to decide. Widget really wants to be part of the family. Will pretending to be a cat grant him the approval he seeks?

I found this story to be charming from start to finish. Children will definitely relate to Widget and his quest to fit in. This book especially tugged at my heartstrings because I support rescued animals. From adopting five dogs and three cats to volunteering at the Animal Protection Agency of Missouri, I absolutely love shedding light on the importance of adopting animals from local rescue groups and shelters.

Jim McFarland's illustrations are classic and timeless. Children will fall in love with Widget and cheer him on in his quest to find a forever home. I love seeing Widget's range of emotions as expressed by his facial features and fur.

Overall, this is a wonderful book for animal lovers of all ages. This book could also be used in a humane education class for local shelter and rescue groups.
Profile Image for Brenda Kahn.
3,638 reviews53 followers
November 2, 2016
So, one of my colleagues went to a workshop on dyslexia and emailed me from the workshop asking if we had this picture book. We did not so I ordered it ILL through the public library to take a look. It was recommended as a text to teach inferencing. I work with this teacher's students every day and she asked if I'd mind sharing it with her kids. Of course not! It's a very cute story, ably illustrated. The kids enjoyed it. I enjoyed it. The best book for teaching inferencing? Not sure. It's fine. I am sure it bowled over the presenter who recommended it but left me a bit underwhelmed about being THE book. There are so many books capable of being used to teach inference - pick the one that makes you excited. Don't force yourself to fit a book that doesn't click for you just because some expert named it. Otherwise, it was a fine book.
Profile Image for Cassie Veselovsky.
Author 37 books4 followers
September 27, 2022
Long before Skippyjon Jones , there was Widget, a dog who pretended to be a cat so that he could join a family and be loved. Since this first book, there has been another in which Widget meets a puppy, but of course this first adventure is my favorite. The illustrations are so adorable that you will be chuckling to yourself and rooting for Widget, all the while wanting to give him a big, ole, hug!
Profile Image for Connie T..
949 reviews4 followers
November 13, 2019
Imagine what happens when a stray dog wanders into a nice warm home occupied by six cats who aren't particularly fond of dogs. Desperate to stay, the dog pretends to be a cat and becomes one of the family. One day, the lady of the house falls down. The cats try to call for help, to no avail. Then the dog starts barking - and now the cats pretend to be dogs! - and help arrives. Moral: dogs aren't so bad after all.
Profile Image for Steph.
975 reviews16 followers
February 6, 2019
Pick up Widget for your kindergarten aged children. Short and simple sentence structures, along with repetition of verbs and action, make this picture book an easy read for emerging readers.

Widget has to earn his way into the heart of the group of cats. Once he is accepted, the group has to work together to save their human.

Truly adorable.
Profile Image for Megan.
32 reviews
January 10, 2021
A whimsy book about a dog named Widget. Great for young kids as the story is told in simple sentences and the art work tells a lot of the story. My children - ages 8, 6, and 4 - all enjoyed it as a read-aloud. It’s a great way to help children think outside the box when it comes to problem solving.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,504 reviews21 followers
April 24, 2019
This is a cute picture book about a little dog who wants a home, so he becomes "one of the cats". The illustrations are so adorable. He ends up teaching the cats to bark when their owner has an accident. The owner is saved!
Profile Image for Brittany.
192 reviews1 follower
September 18, 2019
Rather than most books which teach you to be yourself at all costs, Widget is rewarded for conforming to the cats around him in order to make friends. Then, they learn from and are able to emulate him when the situation demands it.
352 reviews4 followers
July 28, 2020
Marking this as read seems like it only happened once, but this has been part of every single story time that I sit down to with my preschooler since it arrived, so on average I've been reading it 2x/day for the last week.
Profile Image for Patricia N. McLaughlin.
Author 2 books16 followers
June 3, 2022
Resourceful, resilient, adaptable Widget shows his human and feline companions what belonging is all about. Expressive and entertaining illustrations bring the story to life, giving the dog and cats their own personalities.
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,315 reviews15 followers
May 18, 2018
It was funny thinking of a dog pretending to be a cat
Profile Image for Betsy.
53 reviews2 followers
April 13, 2019
One of my favorite easy picture books! The story is adorable with illustrations that enhance. Some universal and timely lessons in this one.
343 reviews30 followers
August 30, 2021
Even when we are considered opposites, we can still get along.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 94 reviews

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