Author: Sarah Weeks
Illustrator: Holly Berry
Publisher: Laura Geringer Books, Harper Collins Publishers
Audience: Ages 4 – 8
Summary: “A dog is a dog and a cat is a cat…And most of the time it’s as simple as that.” But what’s a dog to do when he falls in love with the cat next door? Bark? Chase his tail? When that doesn’t work, our dog digs up a “brass bone” – actually a trombone – and plays it winning the love of the white cat in the process.
Literary elements at work in the story: Poetry/Fiction/Read aloud. The rhyme pattern is snappy and easy to understand, and the book is full of simple illustrations with elaborate backgrounds that pop with bright colors. This humorous and heartfelt story is about the power of love and the power of music, told through the eyes of a lovelorn dog and the cat he adores.
Perspective on gender/race/culture/economic/ability: I like the idea of using non-human creatures such as cats and dogs to depict diversity. Different species, different languages, different sexes are treated equally and harmoniously by Ms. Weeks. This book doesn’t have a “bad” dog or cat but both are portrayed as lovely and loving animals who find a way to get past their natural language barrier.
Scripture: Psalm 57: 6-8; Mark 12:30-31.
Theology: This book celebrates diversity in a whimsical, charming fashion that would connect with young children.
At Valentine’s Day when we turn our minds to thoughts of love, we have a wonderful opportunity to talk to our children about the love of God for each one of us and our loving response to His grace. The love from and for God should be celebrated each and every day.
Faith Talk Questions:
- How many of you have dogs or cats as pets? In what ways are they different? Do you usually think of dogs and cats as being friends with each other?
- Are there other children that you know who are different from you? In what ways are they different? Are you friends with them? Why or why not?
- Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. How do the dog and cat from our story show love even though they can’t understand each other’s language?
- Name some of the people you love. Have you ever gotten Valentines’ cards from them or made cards for them?
- Now think about God. Do you feel love for God? Since you can’t send God a card, what are some things you can do to let God know of your love?
Review by Kelly Hames, MACE, Entering cohort Fall 2008
Woof: A Love Story by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.