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Author: James Howe

Illustrator: Marie-Louise Gay

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Publisher: Candlewick Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Houndsley and Catina love many things, but snowstorms are not one of them. Catina doesn't like being stuck inside ... what about her plans? what about the concert? With Houndsley's help, Catina learns that being snowed in does have it's own kind of fun. This is an easy reader chapter book with illustrations to help transitional readers.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, learning to read, read aloud book, transitional reader, illustrated chapter

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Reading Level: 3.3

Age of Child: Read with a child 7 years old, then later when she was 9 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter didn't like this book the firs time. She saw it as a book we were using to "make" her read. This time, though, she liked the story. It was Catina's fashions (on the cover) that drew her in, but then she liked the way the two friends spent the day.

Adult Reader Reaction: What a refreshing story! It is perfect for a snowy day ... or remembering a snowy day. In his quiet way, Houndsley draws Catina into the fun of enjoying the unexpected and invites us along, as well. The watercolor illustrations draw out the coolness of the season, yet make you feel warm inside, too. I was surprised, though that the readability level came out at the fourth grade.

Pros: This is an easy reader everyone can enjoy ... even those who don't like winter.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a wonderful story. Pre-readers will enjoy listening to the story unfold, and they'll want it again in a future winter when they can read it on their own. This is a perfect book for snowed-in winter days.

If You Liked This Book, Try: I WISH FOR SNOW   THE SNOWY DAY   I WILL SURPRISE MY FRIEND! (Elephant and Piggie Book)

Educational Themes: This is an illustrated chapter book for transitional readers. The story grabs the reader, who will enjoy the book for its characters and light humor. There are themes of friendship, spontaneity and flexibility, using one's imagination, and problem-solving. Bring the book to life by sharing it over a cup of cocoa.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, easy reader series, humor, friendship

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2009

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