|Dear Beast (Dear Beast)|
Author: Butler, Dori Hillestad
Through a series of letters, Simon, a grumpy and jealous cat, informs Baxter, his boy's new dog, that he is not welcome and should leave at once.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 509869
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/20)
School Library Journal (+) (03/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/05/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 K-Gr 2—This title's collection of letters brings out the best (and worst) in a small boy's two pets—cat Simon and dog Baxter ("the Beast") as they battle over young Andy, a child of divorced parents who has two homes with a pet at each house. The very proper and organized Simon only thinks of his own role as number one pet and wants to convince Baxter to leave permanently. However, the innocent, affectionate dog supports Andy. Baxter's missives include misspelled words on torn, lined paper, while the feline writes formal notes "from the desk of" Simon. Both pets are in a contest for Andy's heart. With interspersed cartoon comic images, a Doggy Dictionary of misspellings, and a collection of letters from other pets and street friends, the tale progresses through various crises as Simon learns more about how to be a "good pet." The letter format allows for a variation of fonts and postscript or "FTS (forgot to say)" commentary, while the text's humor and colorful cartoon art animate even minor characters. VERDICT This recommended first purchase title for all libraries encourages young readers to examine the point of view and underlying motives of the characters. A tale begging for the treat of a sequel.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2020 Cat Simon is appalled when Andy returns from his dad’s house with news of a new dog, Baxter. While Simon acknowledges that “it’s too bad [Andy's] parents no longer live together,” he believes Andy does not need another pet—and sends a letter informing Baxter of his decision. Using a mustachioed snail as mail carrier, Simon, Baxter, and a few secondary characters tell the story through correspondence. Simon writes sophisticated letters on personalized stationery. Baxter begins with crayon on torn paper, slowly improving his spelling and formatting. Eventually Simon chases Baxter off, but has a change of heart when faced with the consequences. Expressive full-color illustrations make the book appealing. For some readers, decoding Baxter’s creative spelling (“figyor owt how to share Andy”) and Simon’s sophisticated vocabulary (“Therefore, I really must insist you find another family”) will be too challenging, despite the “Doggy Dictionary” in the back. For those who can navigate successfully, the book is an engaging romp and a introduction to epistolary fiction. Purchase where transitional chapter books are in high demand. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
Booklist - 03/15/2020 - Copyright 2020 Booklist.