Review of Woof: A Love Story by Sarah Weeks, illustrated by Holly Berry

Woof: A Love Story
A dog is a dog
and a cat is a cat
And most of the time
it’s as simple as that. . . .
Or is it?

What’s a dog to do when he falls in love with the cat next door? Bark? Chase his tail? Dig up a “brass bone” and hope that the universal language of music will help him to express his feelings?

This humorous and heartfelt story is about the power of love and the power of music, told through the eyes of a lovelorn dog and the cat he adores. (From Goodreads.com.)


Release date: November 24th, 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 32
Source: Library book

What a lovely little story! I tried to write this review in rhyme to pay homage to the book, but my skill is not as great as Sarah Weeks’, so I had to give it up. Woof: A Love Story is the story of a dog who usually does dog things, until one day, he smells a cat and falls in love. The problem is, every time he tries to tell her nice things, all she hears is dog sounds! They can’t understand each other, so the cat is afraid of him. But then…the dog discovers music, and finally the cat understands how he feels.

There are so many wonderful qualities to this book: an engaging story, teaching that music conveys feelings, it’s fun to hear and fun to read, and it’s a great little book to talk about poetic elements with a stronger reader (1st to 4th grades), as well. The story makes use of rhyme, metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and more. I sense great instructional moments here.

As for the opinion of a real-life child: Little S adored this story. I sense we will be keeping it the full two weeks from the library, and probably even buying it at the store. Though I’m personally not a huge fan of the illustration style, which features bold colors and a cut & paste cardstock look, Little S kept delightedly pointing to the pages, finding hidden items and linking the story words to the pictures. She seemed to love the illustrations, and thinking about it further, I think that this book will still be a hit with boys despite the “sappy” story because of the un-girly illustrations. And of course she had great fun with the story itself, especially because cats and dogs are very familiar animals to her.

Even we adults enjoyed the story. Daddy Dino read it to the Littles for bedtime, and on our way down the stairs talking, we had to laugh at each other for unconsciously adopting the rhythm of the book. “I keep expecting you to speak in rhyme!” I admitted to him. As an experienced picture book reader, I know that rhyming text doesn’t always work well, Dr. Seuss aside. Woof: A Love Story pulls it off beautifully. The rhyming adds a lot to the experience of the book, especially because it goes along with the idea that music can communicate emotion.

In short, this delightful and quirky story about a dog who falls in love with a cat is a great addition to any shelf.

Our rating?

Two out of Five Stars


Four Books to Enjoy With Your Child on the 4th of July!

Independence Day snuck up on me this year, but thankfully I had time to make a quick library run to find a 4th of July book to share with my littles. We ended up having to pick between a few options, so I thought I’d share with you some of the finalists:

The Night Before the Fourth of July
It’s the night before the Fourth of July and all across the United States people are getting ready for hot dogs and fireworks. Decked in red, white, and blue, a family heads to a parade, hosts a backyard BBQ with friends and family, dodges an afternoon thundershower, and of course, watches a fireworks show. The Night Before the Fourth of July captures all the fun, excitement, and pride of the best summer holiday!
(From Goodreads.com.)


The 4th of July Story
What happened on the Fourth of July long before there were fireworks and parades? Alice Dalgliesh takes young readers back to revolutionary times, back to the colonists’ desire for freedom and the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Simple text captures the excitement of the era, telling how word of Independence travelled up and down the thirteen colonies, touching the lives of everyday people throughout the land. Like all of Alice Dalgliesh’s work, “The Fourth of July Story” remains an American classic.
(From Goodreads.com.)


Fourth of July Mice
It’s the most patriotic of all holidays-Independence Day! The Holiday Mice take part in all the activities that make the Fourth of July fun: a parade, a picnic, a baseball game and sack race, and a refreshing dip in the stream. Even Mr. Mouse, the littlest mouse’s special toy, joins in the festivities. The best part of all comes at the end of the day: a spectacular fireworks show!
Packed with plenty of red, white, and blue and featuring the four Holiday Mice at their most adorable, this story about our nation’s birthday will delight readers young and old alike.
(From Goodreads.com.)


Fireworks and Freedom: A Fourth of July Story and Activity Book
This brand-new title in the ” Let’s Celebrate ” series tells the story of America’s Declaration of Independence and its signing by representatives of the 13 original colonies on the Fourth of July, 1776. Full-color illustrations capture the atmosphere of eighteenth-century America–the meetings in Boston of the Sons of Liberty who protested British taxation. . . the meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. . . the call to battle and the birth of the Continental Army commanded by George Washington. Boys and girls also read about how the Fourth of July has been celebrated in the ensuing 230 years. Sidebars present brief facts related to the Fourth of July, and an extensive activity section suggests fun ideas for crafts, picnic foods, games, and songs appropriate to Fourth of July celebrations. Kids can make super-safe balloon “fireworks” with balloons and confetti. They’ll also find directions for doing a fireworks dance with bubble wrap, a recipe for making chocolate flags, and lots more. Color illustrations on every page.
(From Goodreads.com.)


Which one would you pick?