I Wish I Were A Dog

Kitty is fed up.  Dogs have all the fun.  They can play in the park, howl, chase robbers, and even be film stars.  Cats don’t do much that’s very exciting.  But Kitty’s owner thinks she’s forgotten all about being a cat and lists all the best things they do, along with some of the more stupid habits of the average dog.

Cat-owners will like this as feline independence definitely comes off best.  It’s a ‘grass is always greener’ story about appreciating what you have. Lydia Monks has a bright, witty style and the double page of the dogs in the park has plenty to point out and discuss.  The dog looks particularly miserable in the scenes showing the downside of being canine and his appearance in ‘disguise’ as a cat on the final page is quite funny.

This is a decent-enough book.  There is a positive if slightly simplistic moral and older children could benefit from a discussion about their own likes and dislikes about being themselves – would they actually want to be someone else?  In general however the story lacks any real narrative and suffers from double-standards: the poor dog looks utterly depressed when told how stupid he is and at the end he wishes to be a cat himself, somewhat undermining the book’s apparent message of self-acceptance.  The text too is printed in a bold font which is intrusive and uncomfortable to read.

Satisfactory but not satisfying.


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