Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 8
- Grade: k to 3
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.
About the authors
MARIE-LOUISE GAY has achieved international acclaim as an author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won many awards, including two Governor General’s awards, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Marie-Louise’s very popular Stella and Sam series has been translated into more than fifteen languages and is loved by children all over the world. Her recent books include Any Questions? and Short Stories for Little Monsters. She lives in Montreal. marielouisegay.com
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.
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. Add this wonderful transitional book for newly independent readers to most collections.
—School Library Journal
A satisfying homage to friendship and self-confidence, this will make a welcome addition to the easy- reader shelf, especially for series fans.
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)
In his usual, brilliant style, author James Howe has created another fun, outstanding Houndsley and Catina story that kids are bound to love. Exploring some of the tricky elements of friendship and perfectly illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay, Houndsley and Catina and Cousin Wagster is pitch-perfect in every way.
—Reading Eagle (from Kendal Rautzhan's "Books to Borrow")