Houndsley and Catina at the Library (Houndsley and Catina)

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

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
The charming duo returns with a love letter to the library, good friends, the joy of learning, and self-reinvention. It's Saturday, and Houndsley, Catina, and their friend Bert are looking forward to their weekly visit to the library. But when the trio arrives, they find that Trixie, the librarian, seems different. She doesn't tell a joke or recommend a book like she always does. That's when the friends find out the news -- the library is closing! With Trixie retiring and enrolled in circus school, there's no one to take her place as head librarian . . . or is there? James Howe and Marie-Louise Gay have created another engaging tale about what it means to be a supportive friend and how it's never too late to learn something new.
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Kirkus Reviews

"Themes of kindness, adapting to sudden change, and pursuing personal growth make this early reader a touchpoint for conversations. Even with these opportunities for dynamic discussion, the plot's drama and stress are resolved in a quick and satisfying manner. A table of contents will make this outing feel like a chapter book, readers gaining confidence. Gentle existentialism for emergent readers."


Starred Review
"The charm of this amusing beginning-reader book is that just when the plot seems entirely predictable, the turn of a page surprises readers with a wacky left turn in the story, even while remaining true to the characters. Created with watercolor, pencil, and collage, the illustrations express varied emotions, maintaining a buoyant tone overall. Kudos to Howe and Gay for the seventh satisfying entry in the dependable Houndsley and Catina series."

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--Houndsley and his friends Catina and Bert spend every Saturday morning at the library tutoring, taking classes, and volunteering. Librarian Trixie has always greeted them with a smile, a joke, and book recommendations. However, on their latest visit, Trixie seems sad and preoccupied. As the three friends leave, they notice a sign that says the library is closing and to please bring something special to Trixie's farewell party. The friends learn that Trixie is retiring to pursue a circus career and there is no one to take her place. Saddened that they are losing their beloved library, all three prepare their "something special" for Trixie. Houndsley and Catina know right away what they are going to bring. Bert struggles; how can he thank her for all of the happy Saturdays he has spent at the library? At the party, Houndsley brings baked goods to share. Catina gives Trixie a beautiful circus performer's outfit she created. Bert brings himself and his desire to take Trixie's place as the new librarian so the library will not have to close. The watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations are gentle and expressive, and the text is just right for readers transitioning into beginning chapter books. VERDICT A good choice for early reader collections that works equally well as part of the series or as a standalone.--Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

James Howe
James Howe is the author of many books for children, including the Bunnicula series and the Misfits series. He is also the author of the Houndsley and Catina books, as well as Otter and Odder, illustrated by Chris Raschka; Brontorina, illustrated by Randy Cecil; and Big Bob, Little Bob, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson. James Howe lives outside of New York City.

Randy Cecil is the author and illustrator of the picture books Douglas and Lucy, and has illustrated many books for children, including Brontorina by James Howe, And Here's to You! by David Elliott, and Looking for a Moose by Phyllis Root. He is also the author-illustrator of Gator and Duck. Randy Cecil lives in Houston.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
March 20, 2020
Houndsley and Catina
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV047000 - Juvenile Fiction | Books & Libraries
JUV043000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Beginner
Library of Congress categories

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