Friday, February 3, 2017

Poetry Friday with a review of Won Ton and Chopstick: A cat and dog tale told in Haiku

Not long ago we brought a new kitten into the household. The kitten, Legolas, did not like our resident dogs, Pippin and Pinot, at all. The dogs were fascinated by the kitten and wanted so badly to sniff him and play with him, but Legolas spat and hissed whenever Pippin and Pinot were near. The dogs simply could not understand this. Why didn't the little animal want to be friends?

Today's poetry title contains a deliciously funny story about a cat whose family acquires a puppy, much to the cat's disgust and annoyance. The story is told using haiku and it was a joy to read.

Won Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in HaikuWon Ton and Chopstick: A cat and dog tale told in Haiku
Lee Wardlaw
Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Henry Holt, 2015, 978-0-8050-9987-4
Won Ton has a wonderful life. Every day is the same, which is how he likes things to be. Wonton naps, he plays, he has a bath, he naps again, he eats, and then the process is repeated. This is the “purrfect” life for a cat.
   Then one day Won Ton is woken up by a noise and he decides to snoop. He discovers that there are toys on the floor that do not have feathers or fur on them, toys that are therefore not suitable for a cat. Who do they belong to?
   Won Ton snoops some more and what he sees is enough to give any self-respecting cat a heart attack: There is a puppy in the house. Won Ton has a cat fit and ends up being put outside, which is very galling. The dog is the one who should be thrown out.
   Won Ton listens in as Sis and Boy come up with a name for the puppy. He is not impressed when they consider calling him Chopstick. As far as Won Ton is concerned the dog’s “real” name is “Pest!”
   Won Ton wastes no time making sure that the puppy knows that he, Wonton, is the boss in the house. The rules are laid down and when the dog eats Won Ton’s dinner he is given a paw smack. To Won Ton’s horror he ends up being put outside. Again. As he lies under a chair in the yard Won Ton misses Boy and wonders if their wonderful relationship will ever recover.
   In this wonderful poetry picture book, delightfully expressive haiku are paired with amusing artwork to take readers into the world of a cat who does not like having to share his home and his people with a dog. Children will sympathize with Won Ton and will hope that the cat will be able to make his peace with the puppy. Is there hope for Won Ton and the canine pest?

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