Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's All About Cats and Dogs.

Hondo and Fabian, Written and illustrated by Peter McCarty.

2003 - Caldecott Honor Book.

Picture Book: 32 pages. Roughly 150 Words.

Concept Book: related to behavior, shows how two animals species can be different, and like to do different things, but still get along well together.

Main Characters: Hondo - a dog & Fabian - a cat.
Secondary Characters: Fred - a dog & Baby - a toddler.

What was the story about: The story describes Hondo and Fabian's day. The pet's were separated; one stayed home while the other went to the beach. They spent the day doing similar things in different ways.

Character Growth: The behaviors of the characters in the book are to parallel that of typical sibling relationships among humans. The characters live in the same household but have their own preferences. The book brings it to the attention of the reader that it is okay to do your own thing and gives children the confidence to develop as sense of individuality. It's important that children understand that you don't have to like an activity just because other family members or friends do.

Story Appeal : The story is about animals and is very child friendly. I think it is a good picture book for beginning readers. There is a lot of white space on the pages with little text per page which should not over whelm a new reader. As an adult I may not have picked this book as a gift for my child, the animal names are the only repeated text and those names are uncommon so they may be a bit of stumbling block.

Illustrations: The pictures are lovely. There is one picture to every two pages. Each picture visually represents what the text is discussing and provides all the cues a young reader would need to be able to attempt to understand the words of text on the opposite page.

Personal Note: I thought the book was a bit slow. Nothing exciting happened to capture my attention. The pictures were not vibrant, they looked a little out of focus and had dream like quality.   The way the story ends leads me to believe that this book was written with the intention that it would be read at night as children are settling into bed.

Tonight is a horrendous day for writing. The kids refuse to stop fighting. I have sat down at this computer at least three dozen times trying to write and  review this blog post and I have only made it all the way through from start to finish once. How much candy did they feed these kids at school today?

I am determined to write for 15 minutes even if it keeps me up until four am. I have to prove I'm more determined then they are and I have to prove to myself that I can make the time, form a writing habit and get to work on an actual book. I am finding other ways to work at the craft even when I can't be at my computer. When I'm not busy with the children or writing blog posts, I am reading the work of other authors, reading and completing course work and attempting to balance out everything I want to do within a days time.

It's been no easy task to try to get everyone interested in something else long enough that I have uninterrupted time to write. The schedule over the next few days will be a bit messed up. Tomorrow the kids have church after school and Thursday we have to make a trip back down to All Children's Hospital in St Petersburg but Friday I am going to initiate the beginnings of a change and see if that helps my schedule. All housework is going to be moved to the evening, and writing will occur while the kids are in school and the house is quiet.

I'll let you know how it goes,


(Image Artist - Peter Mc Carty.)

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