“Simple, playful—but still clever—humor will delight readers ready for a lighthearted laugh.”
“Are you a cat? . . . I’m a dog, and dogs chase cats.” So begins the hilarious encounter between Dog and Cat. It’s a bright, blue-sky day, Dog and Cat sit at the top of a hill, and Dog wants to know if Cat is a cat. But Cat has no interest in being chased, so Cat says he is not a cat. He is a bird. “Okay, if you’re a bird, prove it. . . . Fly up to that tree.” Confirmed to not be a bird, Cat insists he is a squirrel, a rabbit, and, perhaps most humorously, a butterfly. Each time, Dog questions Cat’s assertion, and when Cat reaffirms, challenges him to prove it. “Okay, if you’re a butterfly, land on that flower without squashing it.” The encounter ends on a delightfully witty note when Dog and Cat spot Mouse. Suddenly Cat is willing to accept his true nature as a cat that likes to chase mice, and it’s Mouse claiming to be something other than a mouse. Muir’s comedic tale is refreshing and entertaining—while a lesson could be pulled from its pages, it also provides an opportunity to simply laugh with a child at some deadpan silliness. The digital illustrations are simple in design and color. As in Muir’s Can Cat and Bird Be Friends?, Cat and Dog are essentially basic rectangles with stubs for ears or arms. Dialogue is identified only by color, which might require explaining for younger readers.
When Cat says he's a certain type of animal, like a bird or a rabbit, Dog tells him to prove it by doing things that those animals do—like fly or climb down a hole. Have you ever pretended to be a type of animal?
The story ends with Mouse using the same tactic Cat used. What do you think will happen next?
Coll Muir is a London-based illustrator and writer of children’s books. After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art, he worked in the film and television industry. Coll’s debut book is Can Cat and Bird Be Friends? You can keep up with him and his many other stories at www.collmuir.com.
For Marrianne & Arthur
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The artist used Procreate and Adobe to create the digital illustrations for this book.