My ESL (english second language) adopted son and I both loved this fun and curious tale about a naughty dog, birthday wishes and a mix-up at the pet store. When dog named Dudley pops out of the birthday gift box instead of the cat sister wished for, Dudley get’s the message quick – that he’s not wanted. He abandons the startled party and jumps out the window to chase cats.
Through construction sites, burning buildings, thunderstorms and railroad tracks, Dudley pursues an ever growing number of cats, scolded constantly for thinking ‘you have nine lives like a cat’. Until his luck runs out at the circus (hint: cats at the circus are tigers).
As a book to get kids interested in reading it’s fabulous. The illustrations are bright and funny, and little ones will enjoy counting the steadily increasing number of cats (corresponding with Dudley’s extinguishing ‘lives’) on each page. The text is also repetitive (in a fun way), great for young readers to reinforce new words and by the end of the book feel confident reading.
This book has a few bad wraps on Goodreads — the main complaint was the obscurity of the story. But Jerry and I loved the mystery of it all. Is Dudley a dog? Did he die on each page? Was he outwitted by every cat in the book? And most importantly … did sister’s wish actually come true, or was Dudley a cat all along?
Jerry is 10 now but this is still one of his favourite books: a fun story, cool illustrations, and one of the first books he read all by himself. And for me, that’s a great kid’s book.
IMPORTANT: please note this post contains affiliate links which means I may be paid a commission if you make a purchase after clicking the links in this post. All proceeds from affiliates are used to buy books for disadvantaged kids. Read more about my work with children in the Philippines here.