The Christmas Puppy

The Christmas Puppy
Roberta Grobel Intrater
Illustrations by Bruce McNally
Cartwheel Books, Scholastic, 1999

This is a nice story about learning to give up what you love for the good of someone else. A young boy, his mom and grandmother go to a shelter to pick out a puppy. Mom wants one that doesn’t shed, but her son has another idea. When they bring their puppy home they must learn to live with all the excitement a young dog brings with it. But one cold night the puppy runs away and the family has to adjust to life without their precious pup. Close to Christmas they finally find their dog and the boy has to make a really big decision.

Main Characters:

scan0002*Tina, a shelter puppy with “short tan and white hair. Her face was white, with tan patches around her soft brown eyes.” She is full of love and mischief and chooses which human to take her home. But with Tina being a former stray, she loves to roam and as a result, causes her family a lot of heartache.
scan0001*Zach, the young boy that Tina chose, loves her as much as she loves him. At Christmas he learns to let go of what he loves so much to make someone else happy.

Secondary Characters:

*Mom & Dad, Zach’s parents; despite their misgivings about Tina and frustration at all the trouble she gets into, they learn to love her very much.
scan0004*The Old Man; when Tina disappeared one night, the old man rescued her from the cold, took her in and named her The Princess. He loved her very much as well.

The book is a quick read for older children; a good beginner chapter book for younger kids. It is really misnamed because only about 2/5 of the story takes place around Christmas and so in my book doesn’t really qualify as a “Christmas story.” scan0003Nonetheless it does remind dog people that you really need to keep that back gate locked and have a really tall fence if you want to keep your wandering pooch at home.

Rating 3 out of 3 paws

selfie 092015aaReviewer: BobbieSue

   Roberta Grobel Intrater

The author’s other books:

Smile! by Roberta Grobel Intrater | 100 Greatest Books For Kids | Pin ...        Hugs & Kisses (Baby Faces) by Roberta Grobel Intrater. $4.95. Reading ...    ... Eyes, a Nose, and a Mouth by Roberta Grobel Intrater |

Thinking of my sister,  LadyBird

A Tribute to another Library Cat

The Board has only just heard of this wonderful Library Cat – we wished we had known him when he was alive.  We only just discovered him through another blogger – and found that he had a large fan base in the Thorntown Library (Indiana).

The Adventures of Tober, the Thorntown Library Cat Please check out HIS BLOG and send good thoughts to those who are mourning him.

My Zoolatry Picture:

“I am the Boss Library Cat at TPL. I like my job! I was an Outside Cat until I was rescued by my Assistant Boss on October 19, 2008,” Tober.

 Tober, we hope you are reading to the other cats at the Bridge!

selfie 092015aa    library cropped  jack 071115aa  feb 26 05ab

My Pet Human

We have a guest reviewer today, LadyBird, the Chihuahua who lives in The Board’s house and one of the few dawgs we could possibly tolerate. We hope you enjoy her review. This may be your only chance to hear from her as we are not keen to allow a pushy dawg to take over our blog!  Sincerely yours, The Board

  My-Pet-Human-my pet human

My Pet Human

Yasmine Surovec (author & illustrator)

Roaring Brook Press, 2015

This is a really cute book about a cat that wanders the streets in search of the perfect human pet. Mr. Independence, as the first chapter is called, has a route he follows through the city to various restaurants where people feel sorry for him and feed him. He also has friends he checks up on, Ben ( a dog), George (a hamster) and Farrah (a cat). He does all of this while avoiding the dog catcher! He sleeps in an abandoned house but one day some humans move into his house and he decides its’ time to foster some pet humans. The young girl in the house falls in love with him but he has to work harder to train the girl’s mother. Eventually he wins everyone over and after a big adventure and a run-in with the dog-catcher, he finally decides  to settle down with his pet humans. He even gets a name! (Oliver)!

I won this book from a give-away sponsored by the Kitties Blue and I really appreciate it. It’s a sweet story, even if it is about cats. I read it to my Felines and they liked it a lot. Simon said it was kind of like his life before he took up with our mom. BobbieSue said she supposed her story would have been like  Oliver’s had she not been ‘gotcha-ed’ by our mom when she was so young. Toby said he had no idea what it was like to wander the streets since he’s had pet humans before he was even born. But we all liked it and so happy we can add it to our collection of books!

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because it shows how cats and humans really need each other.

catonmyhead2Thanks, Kitties Blue!!

lady gravatarReviewer: LadyBird

  Yasmine Surovec

More books (we love her cartoons! – mom has featured them on her art blog, Orange Marmalade Press)





Daniel Pennac

Translated by Sarah Adams
Candlewick Press, for Scholastic Book Fairs, 2004
Originally published by Editions Nathan, Paris, France, 1982

A story of a little scruffy black dog with no physically redeeming qualities survives so many attempts to kill him, seeks for a mistress to love and be loved by.

• Dog, the runt of his litter barely survives being drowned as a newborn, falling debris in the town dump, run over by a car, being killed at the dog pound, and thrown out a car window
• Plum, the little girl who adopts him, loves him and then turns on him before falling in love with him again

Dog’s Friends:
• Black Nose, his adoptive mother who teaches him all about smells
• Woolly, an old dog he meets in the dog pound who teaches him about self-respect, dignity and bravery
• Hyena, an actual hyena-like dog who teaches him about humans

• Mrs. Squeak, Plum’s mum, who has such a high pitched voice she squeaks and she hates Dog because he is so unhygienic
• Mr. Muscle, Plum’s dad, who is big and muscle and loud and hates Dog because he is always in the way
• Wild Boar, Hyena’s human friend, who takes in Dog and gives him a safe place to land when he runs away from Plum

I will start out by saying that Dog (that’s his name) survives and the book has a happy ending; but along the way, my goodness, it broke my heart and made me laugh.

Dog is ripped away from his birth mother because the humans who bred her don’t think they can make any money with him because he is small and ugly. They drown him and throw him in the dump. Later, his adoptive mother dies right in front of him. After a few disastrous run-in’s with humans in town he is caught by the dog-catcher and unless he is adopted in three days he will die. On the last day he is adopted by Plum but he must leave his dear friend Woolly behind to die and he is heart-broken. Then his heart is broken again and again and again before he and Plum finally settle down to a happy life.

This book had me on an emotional rollercoaster with Dog’s life. It shows the best of dogs and the worst of humans. Maybe that’s what we need to remind us that small and ugly creatures deserve to live, too. The story is by turns heart-wrenching and heartwarming but it needs to be read and shared. It reminds us that life is hard and fragile and precious; but with love – unconditional love – it is heaven on earth.

We read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge-2015, category: Read a book with a One Word Title.

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws for reminding us to have compassion for all the unwanted and unloved dogs, cats and other companions in our neighborhoods.

featured bobbisueReviewer: BobbieSue

Daniel Pennac

From Goodreads:

Daniel Pennac (real name Daniel Pennacchioni) is a French writer. He received the Prix Renaudot in 2007 for his essay Chagrin d’école.
After studying in Nice he became a teacher. He began to write for children and then wrote his book series “La Saga Malaussène”, that tells the story of Benjamin Malaussène, a scapegoat, and his family in Belleville, Paris.
His writing style can be humorous and imaginative like in “La Saga Malaussène”, but he has also written essays, such as “Comme un roman”, a pedagogic essay.”La Débauche”, written jointly with Jacques Tardi, treats the topic of unemployment, revealing his social preoccupations.

 Help Fight Puppy Mills – Go to:


The Humane Society of the United States

The Puppy Mill Project - Learn the Truth

Puppy Mills Breed Misery

James Herriot’s Cat Stories


James Herriot’s Cat Stories
By James Herriot

Illustrations by Lesley Holmes

St. Martin’s Press, 1994

“Their innate grace and daintiness and their deeply responsive affection made them all dear to me.” Pg vii

James Herriot is a veterinarian in the countryside of England whose practiced mainly surrounded farm animals. He came of age when the domestic animals today (dogs and cats) were not important as the domestic animals then (cows, horses, pigs, sheep) but they were no less loved and cherished by their keepers. He writes of 9 memorable cats, 7 which were his patients and 2 which adopted his wife.

Alfred, the Sweet-Shop Cat – a beautiful grey tabby who sat on the corner of the counter of his keeper’s confectionery shop, observing the goings on.

Oscar, the Socialite Cat – another tabby, this one black, brown and orange, is found by the side of the road and brought to the vet’s to be put down

Boris and Mrs. Bond’s Cat Establishment – “Boris was an enormous blue-black member of the outside cats and…I always cherished a private conviction that he had escaped from a zoo; I had never seen a domestic cat with such sleek, writhing muscles, such dedicated ferocity. I’m sure there was a bit of puma in Boris somewhere.” Pg 54

Olly and Ginny, Two Kittens Who Came to Stay – The kittens were Olly (black and white) and Ginny (tortieshell). Their life at the Herriot’s is documented in this story and how over time they began to tolerate the vet’s wife’s touch but never the vet himself – because he caught them and neutered them. This is a sweet story of the virtues of caring for a feral cat colony.

Emily and the Gentleman of the Road – A wandering old gentleman takes p with a tiny little tabby he named Emily and walks her into the village several times a week.

Olly and Ginny Settle In, recounts the decision the cats make to seek help with their severe “cat flu” illness from the vet and when well, they go back to hating him.

Moses Found Among the Rushes tells the story of a barely alive black kitten found by the vet on a stormy night where he gives him to the family of the cow he’s tending to. The farmer’s wife brings Moses back to life and then puts him in sty with a sow and her piglets. The sow takes him in like he’s one of hers and nurses him along with her babies.

Frisk the Cat with Many Lives – an old man brings his near-death black cat into the doc’s office who brings him back to life several times.

Olly and Ginny the Greatest Triumph – the vet finally gets to touch the cats that have been hanging around his house for years.

Buster the Feline Retriever is the story of a cat who retrieves like a dog!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for heartwarming stories of my feline cousins and their mostly happy lives.

jack 2 12 25 14 a Reviewer: Jack


Plus many more!