A rottweiler and a green-eyed cat are the stars as well as the narrators of this second work from Hall and Moser ( The Farm Summer 1942 ). Hall's evenhanded and whimsical poem/play analyzes the nature of each species: ``DOG: I am the dog. / I like bones. / I like to bury bones. / As for eating, I can take it or leave it-- / but I like it when they feed me. CAT: I am the cat. / I won't care whether they feed me or not / as long as I get fed.'' Moser's paintings give each animal in the book a specific personality--the rottweiler shakes diamond beads of water from his coat or frightens ``the burglar disguised as a UPS man''; the cat peers intently through a window at a finch or sits like a queen atop a purple cushion. The feline rather disdainfully describes dogs as ``nervous and well-meaning''; the simultaneously ``dignified, / guilty, / sprightly, / obedient, / friendly, / vigilant, / and soulful'' dog says categorically that ``cats are weird.'' The absence of a clear story or plot, however, coupled with the arch tone of the text, may make the book more accessible and enjoyable to adult readers than to children. All ages. (Sept.)
- Judy Silverman
In alternating turns, the dog and the cat state their likes, dislikes and observations about each other and their humans in I Am the Dog/I Am the Cat. It's an offbeat concept, sumptuously illustrated with watercolor portraits by Moser. Dog advocates and cat fanciers will love reading and cheering their favored pet's point of view. The rest of us can feast on the pictures while contemplating how much the "truth" relies on your point-of-view.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-A free-verse poem that alternates the animals' voices. A Rottweiler lists its likes and dislikes making declarations with strong verbs. Its actions are forthright and positive, for it is a dog. A tabby's speeches take a more leisurely tone, conveyed by longer, rambling sentences and softer sounds. It exhibits contradictory and more emotional behaviors, for it is a cat. Moser's full-page watercolor portraits are naturalistic. His use of close perspectives, mostly from the animals'-eye view, capture the immediacy and personality of each creature. Adults will recognize the truth of this book and be amused; children will enjoy the words and pictures and be amused, as well.-Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library
Two of the most common pets, Dog and Cat, philosophize alternately about life in their human household. Naturally, differences abound: "Dog: As for eating, I can take it or leave it--but I like it when "they" feed me." "Cat: Sometimes I tease them to feed me, then turn up my nose at what I get." The dog, protective of his owners, imagines the UPS man to be a burglar, while the cat accepts everyone unconditionally, if it is in the mood. The animals reflect on sleeping, playing, and even bathing, with the canine enjoying positive human touches: "I like my ears scratched. I like praise. I cannot bear it when they use that tone of voice." The cat expresses independence: "The dog amuses me. He cares about what people think!" Poet Hall carefully chooses his words, while Moser's deft paintbrush captures the two animals with precision. Children will love the huge rottweiler, friendly and eager to please, alongside the diffident tabby, green eyes staring, calculating its next move. Although the main characters are the focal point of the paintings, Moser's well-designed backgrounds, both indoors and out, in muted tones are the perfect complement to this rhythmical, whimsical duet.