Officer Katz and Houndini: A Tale of Two Tails

by Maria Gianferrari (Author) Danny Chatzikonstantinou (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
It's all paws on deck in this hilarious picture book that explores the age-old debate of which four-legged friends are best: cats versus dogs?

Officer Katz is looking forward to a nice retirement, complete with all the treats he could want, until his arch-nemesis, Houndini, reappears one final time to challenge Katz to a showdown. If Katz manages to catch Houndini after three tries, Houndini will stay out of Kitty City forever. But if Houndini manages to escape, the town will be renamed...Houndiniville. And Katz isn't about to let his town go to the dogs.

All the claws are out as Katz chases Houndini up, down and around town. With the help of their two assistants--Deputy Catbird and Squirrel--can Katz and Houndini call a truce? Or will this challenge have them both chasing their tails out of town?
Select format:
$16.19 $17.99

Find books about:

Publishers Weekly

A police officer faces off against a wily magician in this pun-soaked story from Gianferrari (the Penny & Jelly series) and Chatzikonstantinou (My Grandma's a Ninja). The Great Houndini, a canine traveling magician, comes to Kitty City every year with the same show and a habit of defacing a portrait of the town founder, Davy Crock-cat (why the citizens continue to welcome him back is unclear). Officer Katz is ready to catch Houndini once and for all, and he puts together three traps for the escape artist to evade. Chatzikonstantinou emphasizes the rivals' mischievous expressions and motives, but the cat- and dog-themed wordplay often comes across as forced ("My Katz-box will put Houndini in the doghouse," Officer Katz tells the "paw-parazzi"), and the use of newspaper headlines and stories to frame in-progress scenes of Officer Katz gloating and Houndini magically escaping doesn't work terribly well from a logical standpoint. In the end, Officer Katz and Houndini realize they are better off on the same side, ending this confrontation on an amicable note. Ages 4-7. Author's agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator's agency: Lemonade Illustration. (Oct.)

Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-Puns pepper the page as feline Officer Katz gets ready for retirement, but not before a final attempt to capture the canine escape artist, the Great Houndini. Every year, Houndini defaces the mayor's portrait, but Officer Katz challenges him to try to escape from his amazing contraptions. If Officer Katz can keep him locked up, then Houndini promises to leave the city and never return. Even an old dog can learn new tricks, and Houndini is no exception. The cast of characters are illustrated in lively action scenes with minimal setting. A fluffy narrative filled with high jinks will delight. In the end, the foes stop fighting like cats and dogs and join forces to take their show on the road. VERDICT Adventures abound in this pun-filled read-aloud that's sure to appeal to cat and dog lovers alike.-Karen Ginman, BookOps: The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Maria Gianferrari

Maria Gianferrari is a picture book reading/writing, tea-drinking, dog-loving, birdwatching resident of Massachusetts. She lives with her scientist husband in a house encircled by trees. Maria writes books that honor our bonds with creatures both domestic and wild, and that celebrate the natural world around us.

Ishaa Lobo is a children's book illustrator based in London. Her art follows themes of nature, comfort, and snippets of everyday life, often drawing inspiration from her childhood. She loves exploring new cities, going on walks, and watching her favorite movies over and over again.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Aladdin Paperbacks
Publication date
October 20, 2016
BISAC categories
JUV002050 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Cats
JUV002070 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dogs
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
Library of Congress categories

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!