A Dog Named Cat

Children - Animals
26 Pages
Reviewed on 01/21/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

A Dog Named Cat by Anne Toole is a heart-warming tale for young readers, a story that is both entertaining and informative, written in beautiful verse and brilliantly illustrated. What's in a name? What happens when one identifies with a different species? Here is a story that goes far beyond the importance of having a name. In the heart of the story is the question of identity: Is one defined by what others call one or can one make the choice to define one's identity? In this story, the author shows readers what a little dog named Cat did to change its name. No, it didn't like being called Cat.

A Dog Named Cat is a perfect book to introduce young readers to poetry. The diction is beautiful and easily accessible. Readers will enjoy the rhythm and the perfect rhyming. The introduction offers a beautiful picture of a small family at an animal shelter.

Mom, dad, baby, and a little boy named Tad went to an
Animal shelter one day.
To little Tad, dad did say,
'Look at all those dogs running about,
Now you need to pick one out.'

After looking all around
At all the dogs playing on the ground,
Tad said, 'I like this one the best,'
As he held a little dog next to his chest.

Notice the storytelling skills, the ability to make a young reader imagine a family. Aside from the lovely story, the images are very telling and colorful. I read this story to my young daughter, who fell in love with the little dog. "It hurts to be called what you're not," she said at the end, and I answered, "But like the dog, you can choose who you are." Anne Toole has written a beautiful story with a powerful lesson on self-image. A really enjoyable read!

Ruffina Oserio

A little kid called Tad and his parents and little baby visit an animal shelter where they adopt a dog he names Cat. But naming the dog Cat might not be the best idea because the dog will suffer a lot as a result of being called Cat. Talking to other animals and birds, the dog learns that a Cat can be a mean and nasty creature — it would chase a mouse, go after the birds, gives the goldfish no peace. Deep inside, the dog knows it's not anything like it.

A Dog Named Cat tells the story of what the dog did to change its name from Cat. Anne Toole has created a story in verse that young readers will enjoy, a story with a powerful lesson: we can always choose not to be what others call us. The story is well-illustrated, and crafted in beautiful verse. The rhymes sing out to the heart with a beauty of their own. The characters are enjoyable and young readers can easily connect with the dog, understand its frustration, and the pain of being called something one isn't. A Dog Named Cat is delightful, the kind of story that is best for discussion in a classroom.

Deborah Lloyd

A delightful children’s book with important life lessons describes A Dog Named Cat by Anne Toole, illustrated by Richa Kinra. The story begins with a typical family; Mom, Dad, the little boy, Tad, and a baby. They journey to the local animal shelter and choose a dog. The baby pointed at the dog and said “cat.” So, they decided to name the puppy Cat. Cat was soon informed by other animals in the house and yard that he could not be a cat, as his behaviors were different than a cat’s would be. Soon Cat became sad and mad. His plans to let the family know how upset he was did not work. But, an opportunity came along where he was a successful dog, and Tad changed his name. Many lessons are communicated in this charming story.

The use of poetry, with rhyming words at the ends of phrases and sentences, is an effective mechanism in the writing of children’s stories. Children enjoy and remember these repetitious sounds – and soon are “reading” along with a parent. Richa Kinra’s lovely illustrations enrich the story and are stimulating to a child’s imagination. Anne Toole has written an engaging children’s book. She displays a good grasp of what entices a child to want a book read over and over again. In the meantime, she is also imparting essential lessons. Every child will learn how making fun of someone’s name can be hurtful; how a name does not define a person; how a person can forge his/her own identity, no matter what others say. Excellent children’s book!