Houndsley and Catina Plink and Plunk

Overview

Houndsley loves to canoe. Catina loves to ride bikes. But when Houndsley takes Catina out canoeing, she chatters the whole time, drowning out the sounds Houndsley loves, like the call of birds or the plink and plunk of the paddles. And when Catina wants to go biking, Houndsley balks at going, even though Bert says he wants to come along. What is wrong with Catina? And what is wrong with Houndsley? Luckily, with Bert’s help, they discover that the things you’re afraid of are easier to do with a good friend or two ...

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Overview

Houndsley loves to canoe. Catina loves to ride bikes. But when Houndsley takes Catina out canoeing, she chatters the whole time, drowning out the sounds Houndsley loves, like the call of birds or the plink and plunk of the paddles. And when Catina wants to go biking, Houndsley balks at going, even though Bert says he wants to come along. What is wrong with Catina? And what is wrong with Houndsley? Luckily, with Bert’s help, they discover that the things you’re afraid of are easier to do with a good friend or two at your side.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leslie Rounds
Working with a controlled vocabulary, this early reader is a charmer! Houndsley's friend Bert is his usual canoeing companion, but when Bert is unavailable, Houndsley reluctantly invites his other friend Catina (a fuzzy white cat) along instead. Houndsley especially enjoys the quiet of canoeing, the plink and plunk of the paddle hitting the water, but Catina cannot stop talking while she's in the canoe, so he finds her a sometimes annoying companion for that activity. On this day, however, Catina suddenly becomes quiet after they experience some turbulent water. When Bert returns, the three of them go bicycling, an activity that terrifies Houndsley, which leads to the revelation that Catina is equally frightened of being on the water, which is why she chatters constantly in the canoe. Gay's evocative but charmingly quirky watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations perfectly capture the three friends and their comfortable relationship, and Howe's words are just as effective at depicting the pleasures of a paddle: "Their paddles plinked and plunked. The birds called as they swooped overhead. The wind rustled in the pines at the water's edge." There is a scattering of pages that are entirely text, interspersed between many that have only a few sentences. The vocabulary is not simple; this book seems to fall just between the easy reader and early chapter book categories. This is an outstanding addition to collections serving young readers and should appeal to first and second graders as they experience the joys of empathetic friendships. Reviewer: Leslie Rounds
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

Houndsley and Catina are back in a brand-new springtime adventure. Catina's constant chatter once again ruins Houndsley's canoe trip, but he doesn't understand why she suddenly clams up after a wave rocks the boat. Catina can't understand why Houndsley doesn't want to ride his new bicycle. In the end, the two friends help one another overcome their fears. The three episodes seem disjointed at first, but the language is playful and precise and the action comes together for a satisfying conclusion. Houndsley and Catina's misunderstandings will resonate with early elementary readers. Gay's gentle cartoons, done in pen-and-ink and watercolor, sprawl across the pages while leaving plenty of white space around the text to encourage beginning readers.-Rebecca Dash, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Houndsley loves to take his canoe out onto the lake, but Bert the goose, his usual paddling partner, must visit a sick aunt. He's reluctant to invite his best friend, Catina, because the talkative cat does "not seem to understand that for Houndsley the joys of canoeing were the boat's silent glide over the water, the plink and plunk of the paddles..." Sure enough, she yaks and yaks. A few days later, Houndsley is gifted with a bicycle, which he most assuredly does not want: He can't ride. But he gamely goes out with Catina and Bert and promptly upends himself into an azalea bush. His confession that he can't ride a bike results in a swap with Bert for a tricycle and Catina's admission that she's terrified of the water-that's why she talks all the time-and a happy canoe outing with both friends, after a swimming lesson for Catina. Howe's gentle text deftly mixes in some sight words alongside easily sounded-out vocabulary, all while telling a sweetly engaging story; Gay's energetic watercolors brim with personality and humor. (Early reader. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763633851
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/14/2009
  • Series: Houndsley and Catina Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,508,913
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 480L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

James Howe is the acclaimed author of more than seventy books for young readers, including the Houndsley and Catina series and the much lauded BUNNICULA and its sequels. He lives in New York State.

Marie-Louise Gay, illustrator of the Houndsley and Catina series, is the award-winning author and illustrator of many other titles, including RAINY DAY MAGIC and the Stella and Sam series. She lives in Montreal.

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