Book: Fuddles and Puddles
Author: Frans Vischer
Age Range: 3-7
I reviewed Frans Vischer's first book about spoiled cat Fuddles back in 2012. [There's also a Fuddles Christmas book.] In Fuddles' newest adventure, Fuddles and Puddles, Fuddles has to learn to share his home with a rambunctious puppy (named Puddles for obvious, but kid-friendly, reasons). Fuddles is aloof, exasperated, and eventually, well, mean to the hapless Puddles. But when Fuddles gets himself into trouble, it's Puddles who saves the day.
This is not, of course, a unique theme (Charlie and the Christmas Kitty, Wolfie the Bunny, Glamourpuss, ... ), but Vischer brings both humor and a clear affection for the foibles of cats. For example, when the kids name the new dog Puddles, we hear: "Fuddles was so disgusted, he lost his appetite." We see Fuddles struggling to sleep, teeth gritted, the puppy keeps him awake at night "whining, crying, and howling." My favorite illustration is the one where Puddles follows Fuddles to the litter box, to Fuddles' quiet fury.
Visher's illustrations are lively and humorous. Fuddles is a bit of a cartoon-ized representation of a cat, with exaggerated expressions and poses. When he climbs a tree in pursuit of a "yummy avocado", young readers will know right away that trouble is afoot.
Anyone who has ever tried to introduce a dog into a household ruled by a cat will be able to relate to Fuddles and Puddles. Older siblings may also see themselves in Fuddles' prickly response to a new young family member who wants to follow an older sibling around. Fuddles and Puddles has characters with clearly delineated personalities, and a slapstick, humorous tone. This would be a fun addition to library collections, and will be especially welcomed by fans of the earlier books.
Publisher: Aladdin Books (@SimonKids)
Publication Date: September 27, 2016
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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