Houndsley and Catina and Cousin Wagster (Houndsley and Catina)

by James Howe (Author) Marie-Louise Gay (Illustrator)

Houndsley and Catina and Cousin Wagster (Houndsley and Catina)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Does Catina like Houndsley's larger-than-life cousin more than she likes him? The charming friends return in this relatable tale.

When his cousin Wagster comes for a visit, Houndsley is excited. Wagster is all adventure and enthusiasm and razzle-dazzle, and all his friends love him. Even Catina thinks Wagster is fun and good at everything, and pretty soon Houndsley is starting to feel a little bit invisible. But Houndsley and Catina are best friends, and certainly Cousin Wagster won't change that -- right? James Howe and Marie-Louise Gay have created a tender and funny story about some of the ways that friendships can change, and how they also stay exactly the same.

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Kirkus Reviews

"Gay's watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations enrich the story with muted colors and repeated patterns. She excels at capturing small details and telling little stories within the larger one--a wonderful treat for this sparse text. As sweet as Houndsley's key-lime pie with whipped cream. More, please."

School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--Houndsley and Catina are back for another adventure when cousin Wagster comes to visit. Unlike Houndsley, who is a rather quiet dog, his cousin Wagster is loud and full of stories and also seems to be good at everything. As Houndsley, Wagster, and Catina cook dinner, play Ping-Pong, and go on a picnic, Houndsley finds the fact that charming Wagster is good at everything a little disheartening. When Houndsley and Catina get some time away, Houndsley must find a way to tell Catina how he has been feeling a bit neglected and is worried about their friendship. Of course, Catina is sensitive to how Houndsley is feeling and reassures him that they are the very best of friends and nothing will change that. With three short chapters, this is a great book to transition independent readers from picture books to something a little more challenging. Even though it is on the longer side, this entry is still very engaging. Gay's delightful artwork, done in watercolor and pencil, adds a playful quality to the story and don't overwhelm the page, leaving plenty of space for the paragraphs of text. VERDICT Add this wonderful transitional book for newly independent readers to most collections.--Jayna Ramsey, Douglas County Libraries in Parker, CO

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Hooray! Houndsley and Catina are back again at last! It's been far too long. I adore the style and sensibility of these books. And was there ever a more perfect pairing, tone-wise, than Howe and Gay? In this latest episode we meet Houndsley's incredibly outgoing cousin. Few things could be better.
—A Fuse #8 Production (blog)
James Howe
James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers. Bunnicula, coauthored by his late wife Deborah and published in 1979, is considered a modern classic of children's literature. The author has written six highly popular sequels, along with the spinoff series Tales from the House of Bunnicula and Bunnicula and Friends. Among his other books are picture books such as Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores and beginning reader series that include the Pinky and Rex and Houndsley and Catina books. He has also written for older readers. The Misfits, published in 2001, inspired the nationwide antibullying initiative No Name-Calling Week, as well as three sequels, Totally Joe, Addie on the Inside, and Also Known as Elvis. A common theme in James Howe's books from preschool through teens is the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at JamesHowe.com.

Andrew Donkin is a writer and graphic novelist. He was described by The Times (London) as "the graphic novel supremo," which is what he'll have on his tombstone in the unlikely event he ever dies. Andrew has written more than seventy books that sold more than nine million copies, including children's books, graphic novels, and even the odd book for grown-ups. He is a longtime collaborator with Eoin Colfer. The pair recently coauthored the award-winning graphic novel, Illegal, with art by Giovanni Rigano. Andrew lives near the river Thames in London with his partner, their two children, and no vampire bunny rabbits. Find him at andrewdonkin.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @AndrewDonkin.

Stephen Gilpin graduated from the NYC School of Visual Arts where he studied painting and cartooning. He is the illustrator of the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk series and The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy series. Stephen currently lives in Hiawatha, Kansas. Visit him at SGilpin.com.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
September 20, 2018
Houndsley and Catina
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV013000 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | General
JUV044000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Intermediate
Library of Congress categories

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