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.
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.
Marie-Louise Gay is the illustrator of many award-winning children’s books, including the Houndsley and Catina series and Tiger and Badger by Emily Jenkins. She lives in Montreal, Canada.
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.
—Booklist (starred review)
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.
The watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations are gentle and expressive, and the text is just right for readers transitioning into beginning chapter books. A good choice for early reader collections that works equally well as part of the series or as a standalone.
—School Library Journal