School Library Journal - School Library JournalPreS-Gr 2This poem, a fight to the death of two fabric creatures, is poorly served by Westerman's black-and-white illustrations. The often-muddy pictures do not advance the action of the poemthe gingham dog, the calico cat, and the all-seeing Chinese plate are never clearly depicted and the climax of flying fabric appears as an indistinct panorama of gray shapes. Janet Street's lively antique-shop setting (Philomel, 1990) offers readers a chance to meet the dog and cat and learn their fate through vibrant, full-color illustrations. Field's poetry deserves more than this colorless treatment.Kathleen Whalin, Greenwich Country Day School, CT
Carolyn PhelanThe text of this picture book is Eugene Field's poem "The Duel," in which the gingham dog and the calico cat have an all-night battle--"The old Dutch clock, it told me so, / And that is how I came to know"--that ends with the two eating each other up. The softly shaded pencil drawings are so light in tone that it's sometimes hard to gain depth perception or to make out exactly what is going on, particularly in the battle scenes or when patterns and shadows overlap; however, Westerman handles the draftsmanship and the characterization of inanimate objects with finesse, and this is an acceptable choice for libraries with demand for traditional poems in picture-book format.
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