This month I’m returning to my New Year’s resolution to: Be less earnest—Seek more levity. Pets bring joy into our lives in a way nothing else can. They love us, sooth our sadness, relieve our stress, and bring us to tears with laughter. During my childhood and in my adult life, dogs and cats have given me fond memories that I often share with family and friends. And, of course, as a bibliophile, I appreciate great books about our furry friends.
One of my favorite newer picture books is Cat Dog Dog: The Story of a Blended Family (2020) by Nelly Buchet, illustrated by Andrea Zuill. There are virtually only two words (“cat” and “dog”) used in this book, but the genius is in the vision—how these words are strung together and paired with hilarious illustrations to create the tenderly fun story of a newly formed family (two dogs, one cat, and two adult humans) learning to be a happy one . . . until baby makes six. A brilliantly hysterical experience.
For more whimsy, revelry, silliness, ridiculousness, jocularity, hilarity, and levity, there are many wonderful classic picture books, but here are some recently published cat and dog picture books:
Cat Ladies (2020)
written and illustrated by Susi Schaefer
Princess the cat has four perfectly trained ladies. What will she do when a stray little girl arrives?
Good Dad Diego (2019)
written by Brenna Maloney, photographs by Chuck Kennedy
Book disclaimer: “The dignity of all pug dogs was carefully preserved during the making of this book, despite the wearing of silly hats.”
Miss Mink: Life Lessons for a Cat Countess (2019)
written and illustrated by Janet Hill
Miss Marcella Mink’s twenty cat-approved lessons will have you living a purrrfect life.
Rollo’s Many Coats (2020)
written by Reed Duncan, illustrated by Keith Frawley
Rollo the loveable bulldog is getting ready for a party. What coat should he wear?
Vinny Gets a Job (2020)
written and illustrated by Terry Brodner
Vinny the bulldog naively goes in search of employment in a dog-eat-dog world.