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Special List: Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner 2021
  1 See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog
Author: LaRochelle, David Illustrator: Wohnoutka, Mike
Click for Large Image
Class: Easy
Age: 3-8
Language: English
Descriptors: Chapter Book, Easy Reader
Demand: Hot
LC: PZ7.L323
Grade: P-3
ISBN-13: 9781536204278
LCCN: BD20244003
Imprint: Candlewick
Pub Date: 09/08/2020
Availability: Available
List: $8.99
Physical Description: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm H 9.31", W 6.75", D 0.5", 0.7719 lbs.
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's For Youth Interest Titles
Brodart's Fresh Reads for Kids TIPS Selections
Brodart's Insight Catalog: Children
Bibliographies: Texas 2x2 Reading List
Awards: Booklist Editors Choice
Booklist Starred Reviews
Kirkus Starred Reviews
Notable Children's Books, ALA
Publishers Weekly Starred Reviews
School Library Journal Starred Reviews
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winners
Starred Reviews: Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
TIPS Subjects: Pets/Domestic Animals
Humorous Fiction
BISAC Subjects: JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dogs
JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
JUVENILE FICTION / Reader - Beginner
LC Subjects: Dogs, Fiction
Dogs, Juvenile fiction
Humorous stories
Short stories
Short stories, American
SEARS Subjects: Animals, Fiction
Dogs, Fiction
Humorous fiction
Reading Programs: Accelerated Reader Level: 1.2 , Points: 0.5
ONIX annotations | 02/02/2021
Winner of the 2021 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Move over, Spot. . . . Spoofing classic primers, Max the Dog talks back to the book in a twist that will have fans of funny early readers howling. See Max. Max is not a cat—Max is a dog. But much to Max’s dismay, the book keeps instructing readers to “see the cat.” How can Max get through to the book that he is a DOG? In a trio of stories for beginning readers, author David LaRochelle introduces the excitable Max, who lets the book know in irresistibly emphatic dialogue that the text is not to his liking. Illustrator Mike Wohnoutka hilariously depicts the pup’s reactions to the narrator and to the wacky cast of characters who upend Max’s—and readers’—expectations as the three stories build to an immensely satisfying conclusion. Hooray, Max, hooray!
Starred Reviews:
Booklist | 09/01/2020
Preschool-Grade 2. This beginning-reader book starts out innocently enough with "See the Cat." A dog named Max, the only character in sight, politely points out in his speech balloon, "I am not a cat. I am a dog." As the text elaborates on the cat's appearance and actions, the conflict between words and images quickly escalates. Meanwhile, Max's demeanor shifts from dignified to annoyed to infuriated to apoplectic, until a green cat rides past him on a blue unicorn, leaving him sheepish and embarrassed. In chapter 2, the text startles Max with "The mad snake is going to bite the dog," but Max defends himself by penciling in one word that changes everything. And in the final chapter, after clever negotiation with the text, Max takes a well-deserved nap. With short, simple words and a keen sense of comedic timing, LaRochelle sets up this battle of wits but leaves space for Wohnoutka to work his magic. The expressive gouache illustrations bring the characters to life, deliver much of the book's humor, and create a blissfully happy ending for Max. Using the predictability of traditional "easy reader" books as a springboard to laugh-out-loud moments, this book is a rewarding choice for kids tackling the not-so-easy task of learning to read. Carolyn Phelan. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2020.
Kirkus Reviews | 08/01/2020
A dog insists he is the protagonist of three silly stories. In a running argument with the author, Max the dog feels he must rectify each narrative statement as he perceives it applies to him. Story No. 1 begins, "See the cat." There is no cat in the illustration, only the dog, who states with certitude, "I am not a cat. I am a dog." The author continues, "See the blue cat." The dog retorts, "I am NOT blue and I am NOT a cat." This continues with additional descriptions of the cat that isn't there--until the conclusion trots in a blue cat riding a unicorn. "See the red dog." Max admits, "I am so embarrassed." Story No. 2 has a similar beginning: "See the snake." "Here we go again," sighs Max. The narrator blandly records the snake's increasing anger, informing readers: "The mad snake is going to bite the dog." Thinking quickly, Max grabs a pencil and smartly makes an edit, inserting "not" between "is" and "going." Whew. In Story No. 3, Max takes control when confronted with an impossible choice: fly or be squashed by a large hippo. Sardonic cartoon drawings and the play on words cleverly elevate the repetitive, Dick-and-Jane pattern to include humor and suspense. Children, who are frequently subject to the control of others, will delight in seeing Max mirror their emotions and turn the tables. Kids will cheer for the affronted Max in this well-crafted early reader with surprising outcomes. (Early reader. 4-8). 64pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2020.
Publishers Weekly | 10/19/2020
Ages 4-8. The stage is set for a meta battle of wills in the opening of this early reader, divided into three short chapters, from the creators of Moo!. An omniscient narrator diverts from the illustrations, introducing Baby Cakes, "a blue cat in a green dress riding a pink unicorn," in lieu of Max, the yellow dog shown in the frame. Max argues that he is no such thing until, indeed, a cat and unicorn ride through the scene. But anyone who believes that this protagonist is going to be put upon for another two chapters has another, and very funny, think coming. First, Max uses a pencil to alter the text, averting a bite from an angry snake. Then, after defying the narrator's demand to "run and jump and spin and fly," Max announces that if the narrator makes good on a threat to have a hippo sit on him, he's outta there-and the book "will end up in the trash." The sharp humor and expressive, highly distilled gouache cartooning offer opportunities for lots of giggles, but the real joy of this stand-out beginning reader comes from watching a genuine underdog speak his truth. (Sept.). 64p. Web-Exclusive Review. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2020.
School Library Journal | 01/01/2021
K-Gr 2. Who is running the show in this delightfully humorous easy reader? The first line of text, large black font on a white verso page, is "See the cat." On the recto page, a yellow dog proudly declares in speech bubble text, "I am not a cat. I am a dog." As descriptors of the cat accumulate, dog Max grows more and more indignant until indeed a cat does appear and the text "See the red dog" is paired with red-cheeked Max admitting, "I am so embarrassed." In the second story, the omniscient narrator begins, "See the snake" as Max resignedly responds, "Here we go again." The jig is up, however, as Max cleverly averts the dangerous snake by using a pencil to write in a different ending. In the third story, Max takes control by threatening to leave the book when the narrator again tries to manipulate him. Cartoon-style illustrations expertly support a text with repetition and simple sentences. As Max progresses from confused to canny to competent, children will find a reflection of their own reading journey as well as amusement at the metafictive aspect of a dog wrestling with a book. VERDICT This humorous, self-referential, fourth wall-demolishing easy reader features a dog who seems to be at the mercy of the storyteller--or is he?. Ramarie Beaver, formerly at Plano P.L., TX. 64p. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2021.
Journal Reviews
Horn Book | 09/01/2020
Primary. In three brief stories, this beginning reader inventively supports both traditional and visual literacies. The first chapter, "The Cat," opens with the sentence "See the cat" on an otherwise blank left-hand page. On the right-hand page, a dog responds, declaring, "I am not a cat. I am a dog." The text on the left pages continues to expand and embellish the description, and the dog reacts with increased frustration ("I am NOT blue and I am NOT a cat"). There is more to the tale, however, and humor ramps up as surprises occur. The gutter effectively separates the dog's words (shown in speech balloons) from the words of the narrator (always set on blank pages). In one scene in the second story, "The Snake," the dog reaches back over to the previous page, pencil in hand, to modify the sentence "The mad snake is going to bite the dog." None of the secondary characters speaks (including a large, purple, buck-toothed hippo whose not-funny role is as a threat to "sit on the dog"). Short sentences carry a steady rhythm, with word repetition scaffolding language acquisition and offering clever callbacks. Gouache illustrations in subdued hues enliven and support the narrative. This entertaining exploration of words, images, and how they function together to tell a story will be popular with fans of Mo Willems. Elisa Gall September/October 2020 p.97. 64pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2020.