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Won Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku
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Won Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku

by Lee Wardlaw, Eugene Yelchin (Illustrator)
 

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Won Ton has a happy life with his Boy, until…

Ears perk. Fur prickles.
Belly low, I creep…peek…FREEZE!
My eyes full of Doom.

A new puppy arrives, and nothing will be the same.
Told entirely in haiku and with plenty of catitude, the story of how Won Ton faces down the enemy is a fresh and

Overview

Won Ton has a happy life with his Boy, until…

Ears perk. Fur prickles.
Belly low, I creep…peek…FREEZE!
My eyes full of Doom.

A new puppy arrives, and nothing will be the same.
Told entirely in haiku and with plenty of catitude, the story of how Won Ton faces down the enemy is a fresh and funny twist on a familiar rivalry.

NCTE Notable Poetry List Book

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Young readers who fell in love with Won Ton in Wardlaw and Yelchin's first book, Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku, will enthusiastically welcome this new adventure, and those not yet familiar with the earlier book will likely seek it out.” —Booklist

“A satisfying companion to Won Ton's eponymous first outing.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In this charming sequel, a new puppy threatens the titular feline's idyllic experience in an enjoyable spin on the "adjusting to new baby" theme.” —School Library Journal

“Each haiku is complete in itself, capturing the essence of cat...and together the poems create a whole tale of displacement and eventual mutual understanding.” —The Horn Book

“The poetry is concise and witty...technically deft, and age-accessible. Yelchin's graphite-lined gouache art craftily echoes the verse.” —The Bulletin

“* Will steal the hearts of readers young and old.” —School Library Journal, starred review on Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku

“* [A] celebration of the child-pet bond.” —Booklist, starred review on Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku

“* Perfect pussycat poetry.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review on Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This charming picture book not only highlights the age-old cat vs. dog rivalry but does so using two Japanese poetry forms that add an additional rhythm to the text. Both haiku and senryu follow the three line, unrhymed seventeen syllable format that every child learns in elementary school. Haikus focus on nature (animals) and senryus pays attention to the foibles of human nature (found in the cat and dog in their personified presentation in the story). Won Ton has been in charge of Boy for a long time, but when a new puppy is brought into the house, Won Ton finds himself being put out of the rooms that Chopstick and his exciting newness inhabit. Won Ton tries to fight the reality of the new pet, but finally, on a wet and rainy day when there is no one else to play with, grudgingly acknowledges that maybe the new puppy could become a friend. The “voice” of Won Ton is perfect for a cat who is much too special to have to acknowledge the puppy, and the pictures support the text and the haiku/senryu styling. The book will be a great add to any family or elementary library, especially when working with the reality of bringing a new pet into the house and not forgetting the other. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
12/01/2014
K-Gr 2—In this charming sequel, a new puppy threatens the titular feline's idyllic existence in an enjoyable spin on the "adjusting to new baby" theme. As in Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku (Holt, 2010), Wardlaw relates his tale through a series of senryu, short unrhymed lines of haiku containing a maximum of 17 syllables. This ancient form of Japanese poetry seeks to capture the essence of a moment, and Wardlaw uses it to humorous effect to capture Won Ton's horrified reaction to the new puppy, Chopstick. Won Ton defends his territory against the newcomer and acts out. There's an altercation at the dinner bowl: "Who. Ate. My. Dinner./Your eyes say "no-no," but your/breath brags of tuna." Yelchin's cartoony illustrations, using graphite and gouache on watercolor paper, convey Chopstick's wide-eyed innocence and Won Ton's prickly vulnerability. Though this is a stand-alone sequel, there are echoes of the first book, where readers learned that Won Ton's true name is Haiku; here, readers learn that Chopstick has a true name as well (hint: a famed haiku poet). Abundant wordplay and comic elements, such as Won Ton's repeated cry: "Puthimoutputhim/outputhimoutputhim—wait!/I said him, not me!" make this an enjoyable read-aloud. In the end, Won Ton discovers that he and the puppy have much in common: both enjoy rummaging through the garbage and cuddling with their boy. Peace is restored, and all ends happily. A wide audience of readers will be cheering Won Ton's return as well.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
2014-12-06
Black cat Won Ton's perfect life with Boy hits a puppy of a hiccup. "It's a fine life, Boy. / Nap, play, bathe, nap, eat, repeat. / Practice makes purrfect." Then toys no cat would be interested in show up, and a mysteriously closed door that was never closed before hides a nasty surprise: a dog! "Puthimoutputhim / outputhimoutputhim—wait! / I said him, not me!" Poor Won Ton. The humans name the puppy Chopstick, but Won Ton guesses his real name is Pest. Rules are laid down and broken. An altercation over Chopstick's eating Won Ton's food leads to Won Ton's banishment outside. Won Ton adjusts, but he secretly enjoys Chopstick's encounter with a skunk and revels in the superiority of a self-cleaning cat. One stormy day, though, Won Ton finds puppies make fine pillows. "Some parts of woof I / will never understand. But… / practice makes purrfect." The two snuggle down with Boy. Wardlaw's fine feline phrasing in the haiku-related senryu form of Japanese poetry again pairs neatly with Yelchin's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations. Both capture the canine and the feline in this fresh take on the "new puppy in a cat's house" tale. A satisfying companion to Won Ton's eponymous first outing (2011). (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805099874
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
03/17/2015
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
174,575
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lee Wardlaw has published nearly thirty award-winning books for young readers, including Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku and Red, White, and Boom! She lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her family.
Eugene Yelchin is the illustrator of Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku and the author/illustrator of Breaking Stalin's Nose, which earned him a Newbery Honor in 2012. He is also the author/illustrator of Arcady's Goal. He lives with his family in Topanga, California.

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