Cute & Cuter

Cute & Cuter

by Michael Townsend

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Cute kittens, cute puppies, and more! An explosion of cuteness tailor-made for "I Can Has Cheezburger" fans.

 Janie Jane's life takes a turn for the cute when she receives an adorable puppy as a birthday present. She and Sir Yips-a-lot do everything together. But before you know it, it's Janie's birthday again and she's got a new, potentially cuter


Cute kittens, cute puppies, and more! An explosion of cuteness tailor-made for "I Can Has Cheezburger" fans.

 Janie Jane's life takes a turn for the cute when she receives an adorable puppy as a birthday present. She and Sir Yips-a-lot do everything together. But before you know it, it's Janie's birthday again and she's got a new, potentially cuter present to unwrap: Lady Meow-meow, "The World's Cutest Kitty."

Wait! Sir Yips-a-lot has always been the cute one in Janie Jane's life. What if she doesn't need him anymore?

Michael Townsend has crafted a lighthearted romp that will help children—especially those with new siblings—recognize and overcome feelings of jealousy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Maximally cute indeed, this comic strip–style tale examines the tense relationship between a forlorn dog and his owner’s brand-new cat. For her birthday, sugar-sweet Janie Jane gets “the cutest thing she’d ever seen: Sir Yips-a-lot.” A montage shows the kewpie doll–faced girl and her roly-poly pal spending a blissful year together until, “before they knew it, it was Janie Jane’s birthday again!” With an open-mouthed “gasp”—written in large floating letters that dominate the panel—Janie opens a package to reveal a saucer-eyed kitten (“She is soooo cute! And Meow-y!”), dubbed Lady Meow-meow. After his charming tricks and mournful howls fail to win back Janie’s affections, Sir Yips-a-lot launches “Operation Cute-Be-Gone,” ejecting tiny, helpless Lady Meow-meow out the mail slot and into the suburban night. Soon, his guilt gets the better of him. Townsend (Monkey and Elephant’s Worst Fight Ever!) composes treacly conversations, breathless overstatements, yips, and meows that demand to be read in squeaky voices. His saccharine, pastel-hued comics imply satire yet can be read without irony, accompanied by plenty of giggling. Ages 5–8. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Janie Jane's birthday presents are cute--and in competition for her attention. When Janie Jane, maven of cute, receives the adorable puppy Sir Yips-a-lot, she is in cute heaven. The two spend all their time together until Janie Jane's next birthday, when she opens the pink packaging to reveal an even more adorable gift: a kitten. Lady Meow-Meow captures her new owner's heart, and the inevitable occurs: Sir Yips-a-lot feels left out and plans the demise of this feline interloper. Seeing Janie Jane's distress, the dog repents and rushes to correct his transgression. The search and rescue of the little kitty allows the two pets to make amends and appreciate each another. Each spread is a lively mixture of comic-book elements such as speech bubbles, small and large frames, exaggerated types to show emotion and traditional narration. The design often overwhelms the story--at times readers need some relief from the garish, supersaturated blues, greens and pinks. The art style is comedic as well, with wide-mouthed grins and billiard-ball eyes the order of the day. The simplistic style will be easy for young readers to imitate if they want to continue the story on their own. Families with a new baby might find this helpful for older children exploring their own feelings of jealousy. Others may find Townsend's delivery is just too darn effective. Cute overload. (Picture book. 4-7)
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
When little Janie Jane gets a puppy for her birthday, she is thrilled. A self-styled expert on all things cute, she names the puppy Sir Yips-a-lot, and they are inseparable. Until, that is, her next birthday comes and she receives a kitten: Lady Meow-meow. The kitten becomes the next cutest thing, and the dog is, well, in the doghouse. Sir Yips learns what it's like to be ignored and to feel unloved, and he also learns about revenge and jealousy. Lady Meow also finds out what it's like to be alone. Together, the two pets learn important lessons about helping one another and about the difference between fickleness and true friendship. Janie Jane, alas, learns nothing. When her next birthday comes and she receives another "cutest" pet, the reader can only hope that Sir Yips and Lady Meow will save the day for everyone. While this book has a high "sweetness" level, it contains a great dog character; in fact, he is probably the star of the book. There are also some life lessons that young readers will grasp and appreciate. Although this is a picture book in the strict sense, most of the pages are presented in graphic novel format, with cartoon panels and dialog bubbles. This blending of genres works well. The illustrations are bright, large, and funny, and complement the text, with many of them adding to the humor by suggesting little stories of their own. Inventive, witty, and wise, this book should be a hit with youngsters. The pages are not numbered. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Janie Jane, "an expert on all things cute," receives the cutest dog ever for her birthday, Sir Yips-a-lot. The two do everything together, until one year later when Janie Jane receives "The World's Cutest Kitty" as a gift. Sir Yips-a-lot tries in vain to regain his position; he makes his cutest faces and does his cutest tricks, but to no avail. In a fit of jealousy, he pops Lady Meow-meow out the mail slot and into the dark night. His victory is short-lived as Janie Jane is inconsolable. So fearing the worst, but needing to do the right thing, the pup heads out to find Lady Meow-meow, who joyfully licks Sir Yips-a-lot while Janie Jane declares, "THIS IS THE CUTEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN!" From then on the three are inseparable, until one year later when Janie Jane gets the cutest octopus ever….Picture book and comic book successfully combine here. There are dialogue balloons with fun fonts (and hearts) and panels of various sizes, plus narrative text and traditional full-page pictures. The illustrations, reminiscent of Nick Jr. cartoons, are crisp, clean, and digitally colored in bright, bold shades. Excellent facial expressions add warmth, and plenty of exclamation points (including implied ones) emphasize cuteness. Sure to be popular with the comic-book and the overkill-is-funny crowds.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

MICHAEL TOWNSEND is the author of Monkey and Elephant's Worst Fight Ever!, Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!, and the Kit Feeny graphic novels. While he may not be as cute as a dozen hamsters dancing in a field of flowers while eating cupcakes, he is a reasonably attractive person.

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