Abby and Jack Review Two New Children’s Books

Abigail is back, this time with her friend Jack to review two new children’s picture books. Jack tackles Zachariah Ohora’s latest fuzzy caper involving a pair of apartment-dwelling felines, while Abby looks at a canine compare-and-contrast board book by French illustrator Élo. Both are great choices for early readers to enjoy during the dog (and cat) days of summer.

Niblet & Ralph, by Zachariah Ohora, Dial Books for Young Readers; $17.99, 32 pages, ages 2-6. 

Niblet and Ralph is about two cats and their kid owners. The four of them live in the same building, but only two of them know it. A tragic mystery happens that brings the humans together–be sure to read the book to find out! The cover shows a cat wearing headphones–how adorable!


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Images reproduced with permission from Dial Books.

Contrary Dogs, by Élo, Candlewick Studio; $12.00, 20 pages, ages 0-6. 

Contrary Dogs is a funny book about all different types of dogs–opposites, really. For example, one has spots, another doesn’t. Plus, it’s a book where you can lift the tabs–who doesn’t like those? Your child will love exploring the tabs and reading all about these amazing dogs!

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CONTRARY DOGS. Copyright © 2016 by Éditions Sarbacane. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, London.

Pepper & Poe, by Frann Preston-Gannon; Orchard Books, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 1-4.

Pepper’s life is the cat’s meow: The green-eyed feline adores lazy Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. Then one Wednesday, a newcomer arrives. Little Poe is smitten with Pepper, but also takes the elder cat’s toys and plays chase all the time. How does Pepper cope with the new addition? Simple high-jinks and a sleepy canine foil complete this tale of feline rivalry. This is the U.S. picture book debut for Sendak Fellowship Recipient Frann Preston-Gannon, and let’s hope there’s more to come from her. Lots of black, neon orange and chartreuse create a visually compelling story, while readers familiar with Charlotte Voake’s excellent 1997 picture book Ginger will notice a similar storyline. Both are sound choices for little cat fanatics learning how to share space and affection.