From the Publisher
“This collection of short stories combines the bedrocks of mass appeal: dogs, humor, and short chapters brimming with illustrations.” Booklist on Dog Diaries
“Drama, humor, excitement, and love fuel these short, well-written stories that are certain to be relished by dog lovers.” Booklist on My Dog, My Hero
“[T]his collection will be a hit with its target audience and is perfect for encouraging reluctant readers.” Kirkus Reviews on The SOS File
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—MEOW, or Memories Expressed in Our Writing, has gathered cats from all over the world for a night of storytelling. What follows are 11 tales from the diaries of various felines, some going back as far as 2000 B.C.E. (Miu, the Great Cat of Egypt, who must contend with Abu, the Royal Dog). The book has a few standout tales, such as Go-Go's story about a school visit during which he climbs the stage curtains and Whiskers's adventure with a parachute, but the majority are rather pedestrian. Still, the short chapters and whimsical illustrations that appear on almost every page will appeal to reluctant and beginning chapter-book readers. An additional purchase.—Beth Cuddy, Seward Elementary School, Auburn, NY
On the third full moon of the year, the MEOW (Memories Expressed in Our Writing) Society meets so cats from all over the world can get together to share their diaries and those of their ancestors. Fuzzy tells of her first Christmas tree and the perfect shiny red bauble that causes her a lot of trouble. Chico, the world's smallest cat, tells his story of stopping a crime in Spanish (with subtitles). Go-Go, the star of a series of picture books, creates a scene at an author signing. Miu the Great Cat of ancient Egypt, learns there IS value in the slobbery Abu, the Royal Dog. And Library Cat learns about himself and his people's history at storytime. Byars and her daughters Myers and Duffey follow Dog Diaries (2007) with a collection of feline short stories sure to please cats and the people who love them. Brooks's black-and-white cagy, cute and cool kitties decorate nearly every page. A great choice for newly independent readers or sharing with groups and a terrific lead-in to Esther Averill's stories about Jenny Linsky. (Animal fantasy. 6-10)
Read an Excerpt
Full Moon, Empty Streets
It was the third full moon of the year when cats around the world began to disappear. The alleys and streets were quiet. Trash cans stood untouched, lids strangely in place. Dogs sniffed the air anxiously while mice ran freely, unafraid of predators. Music drifted from apartment windows, unaccompanied by feline howls.
The cat population had a meeting to attend. Large and small, old and young, cats headed to an old abandoned theater. When the room was filled, the eyes of the cats focused toward the front, where a large gray cat with battle scars made his way to the stage. He spoke.
"I, Ebenezer, call the meeting to order."
"This better be good," called a calico from the back. "I had to plot for three days to get out of the house to come." A Siamese slunk back and forth along the sideline. "And I don't have claws, so I took a big risk getting here." A fat cat yelled, "It rained yesterday. You know how I hate to get my feet wet, but I did it just to get here, even though I heard we might be meeting with dogs."
"Dogs?" a kitten asked, shaking.
"That was just a rumor," Ebenezer said. "There was some discussion about a possible meeting with the WOOF Society, Words of Our Friends. You see, dogs have written diaries too."
"Dogs? Diaries? Our dog can't even clean himself," a cat yelled.
"How many dogs have enough sense to write a diary?" said an alley cat.
"I agree. The dog in my house could no more write a diary than climb a tree."
"Not so fast," Ebenezer said. "I've read some dog diaries. The stories are not bad."
Yowls erupted. Ebenezer waited for the sounds to die down, then spoke. "On to our business."
"Tell us more," called a young cat from the third row. "This is my first meeting."
"As many of you know, for some time now we have been collecting writings by members of our feline community. We call this group MEOW (Memories Expressed in Our Writing)."
Meows of agreement echoed throughout the room. A paw went up.
Cisco cleared his throat.
"Hairball," someone yelled from the back. Several cats laughed. Others coughed.
"Order!" called Ebenezer. "Cisco, go ahead."
"What kinds of writings will we hear tonight?"
"There are many different tales."
"Not from the Manx," someone yelled. "They don't have tails."
Everyone laughed, except the Manxes, who hissed.
Ebenezer continued. "Throughout history, cats in their own quiet way have been writing storiesstories of their lives and the lives of others. Tonight, we will hear diaries from a Gypsy cat, a pirate cat, and many more."
"Let's get started," called an Abyssinian.
"We will begin with the diary of a cat named Fuzzy, who learned that it's a delicate balance to keep the best of both worlds. Now, get comfortable."
Some cats curled into balls, others tucked their front paws neatly underneath their bodies. Everyone settled into position and awaited the first reading.
"Fuzzy, please come forward for the reading of the first of the cat diaries."
Text copyright © 2010 by Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffey, Laurie Myers Illustrations copyright © 2010 by Erik Brooks