Sunny and the Cats

Children - Animals
32 Pages
Reviewed on 04/06/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Victoria Otto is a children's book author, born and raised in Metro-Detroit. She has a passion for children's literature and strives to create picture books that are engaging, educational, and fun for both children and parents to read. Victoria's books continue to be inspired by her real-life childhood experiences, and she hopes that readers enjoy reading her books just as much as she enjoyed creating them.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Sunny and the Cats, written by Victoria Otto and illustrated by Teguh Sulistio, is a children's picture book that revolves around two separate pet villages and the animosity between them, which is founded on fear. The neighboring pet villages segregate cats from dogs, with the cats residing in the quiet, clean, and calm Meow village, and the dogs in Woof village, described as loud, smelly, and filled with laughter. Sunny, a puppy in Woof village, does not understand why the dogs and cats cannot play together. Despite being told their ways of living are too different and after overhearing a conversation with the cats, Sunny jumps into action when a need arises and this leads to an unexpected outcome.

The timing of Sunny and the Cats is perfect, given the issues many children are exposed to in a climate where adults seem to be preoccupied with stereotypes. Victoria Otto shows us that even with personality and physical differences, the care we show one another by helping our neighbors, seeing their differences as a positive, and living harmoniously, can lead to a thriving inclusive community with a much better quality of life. As a person of color raising children, the message is strong and Otto's use of pets can deliver it comfortably, even to the youngest readers. As for the illustrations, Teguh Sulistio is a true artist and brings Sunny and the residents of Woof and Meow villages into brilliant, colorful life. This is an excellent little book and I am more than pleased to add it to our nightly bedtime rotation.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

We all have our differences, but that shouldn’t set us apart. Victoria Otto explores this theme in Sunny and the Cats. Sunny is a dog that lives in woof village. Only dogs live in woof village. Right next to their village is meow village, where only cats live. The residents of both villages have decided that those living in the other village are bad, mean, and they don’t want to have anything to do with them. Sunny doesn’t understand why. He wants to play with the cats, but the dogs tell him it wouldn’t work and the cats want nothing to do with him. That is until a small blue cat falls down a hole and only Sunny can rescue it. But, is it enough to bring the residents of both villages together to play and have fun and forget their differences?

Victoria Otto’s story, Sunny and the Cats, is all about diversity and standing up for inclusiveness. “Cats and dogs will never be friends,” is a sad thing to hear whenever differences are observed. All it takes is one person, or in this case one dog and one cat, to break the norm and come together in friendship. The plot begins with the building up of differences in both villages, a diverse set of circumstances if ever there was one. The plot intensifies when Sunny saves the small cat and the small cat pays him back with kindness. That’s all it takes: a little bit of kindness. The language is simple to appeal to young readers and the illustrations are bright and colorful and full of energy and action. This is a beautiful story about observing and honoring our differences and showing compassion. As written in the opening line which introduces this theme: “Always be kind to anyone, and everyone’s kindness will follow you back.” Or, more simply put, what goes around, comes around. Loved it!

Justine Reyes

Sunny and the Cats is a wholesome children's picture book written by Victoria Otto and illustrated by Teguh Sulistio. The story of Sunny and the Cats centers around a dog named Sunny who, unlike other dogs, questions why dogs and cats can't be friends. Through the cute illustrations of friendly furballs, readers will find the answer to Sunny's question.

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up Sunny and the Cats. As a mother, I'm always looking for a book to read to my child. Like most kids, my daughter loves animals, and animal books are not hard to come by, but Sunny and the Cats has more to offer. Victoria Otto infuses cuteness and sensibility into a short and adorably illustrated children's book. Reading a little deeper into this book, you will find that the story is more about seeing differences and accepting those differences whether it be between cats and dogs or people.

Otto doesn't once have Sunny conform to the ways of cats or have cats conform to the ways of dogs for everyone to get along. No. What Otto does is simply have them understand their qualms with each other and then find peace in the truth. Misunderstandings can go way back and create a division, but it only takes one person (or in this case, one dog) to challenge those old sentiments and put them to the test. I found Sunny and the Cats to be a heartfelt and sweet little book.