Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 12/01/2014 K-Gr 2—In this charming sequel, a new puppy threatens the titular feline's idyllic existence in an enjoyable spin on the "adjusting to new baby" theme. As in Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku (Holt, 2010), Wardlaw relates his tale through a series of senryu, short unrhymed lines of haiku containing a maximum of 17 syllables. This ancient form of Japanese poetry seeks to capture the essence of a moment, and Wardlaw uses it to humorous effect to capture Won Ton's horrified reaction to the new puppy, Chopstick. Won Ton defends his territory against the newcomer and acts out. There's an altercation at the dinner bowl: "Who. Ate. My. Dinner./Your eyes say "no-no," but your/breath brags of tuna." Yelchin's cartoony illustrations, using graphite and gouache on watercolor paper, convey Chopstick's wide-eyed innocence and Won Ton's prickly vulnerability. Though this is a stand-alone sequel, there are echoes of the first book, where readers learned that Won Ton's true name is Haiku; here, readers learn that Chopstick has a true name as well (hint: a famed haiku poet). Abundant wordplay and comic elements, such as Won Ton's repeated cry: "Puthimoutputhim/outputhimoutputhim—wait!/I said him, not me!" make this an enjoyable read-aloud. In the end, Won Ton discovers that he and the puppy have much in common: both enjoy rummaging through the garbage and cuddling with their boy. Peace is restored, and all ends happily. A wide audience of readers will be cheering Won Ton's return as well.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 02/01/2015 Wonton the cat has lived a privileged life with Boy all to himself—but now another four-legged intruder has come to stay. The puppy is young and rambunctious and upsets Wonton’s quiet, peaceful routine. But who gets in trouble with Boy? It’s not the puppy, of course. “Puthimoutputhim / outputhim . . . Wait, / I said him, not me!” From the early stages of rivalry and intentional disregard to reluctant acquiescence, Won Ton learns to (mostly) share Boy with the puppy, Basho. Wardlaw’s humorous poems are further enhanced by Yelchin’s delightful, expressionistic graphite and gouache illustrations. This story of sibling rivalry in disguise will ring true for children with younger brothers or sisters or children who acquire a new pet that must acclimate to a home with another animal. Young readers who fell in love with Won Ton in Wardlaw and Yelchin’s first book, Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku (2011), will enthusiastically welcome this new adventure, and those not yet familiar with the earlier book will likely seek it out. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2015 In this follow up to Won Ton, Won Ton the cat narrates in verse a change to his life-the addition of a puppy to the household. Twelve titled sections, each a spread or two in length, document in senryu (a Japanese verse form metered like haiku) the shift from dislike and jealousy on the part of the cat (never from the clueless puppy) to grudging acceptance to relative contentment. The verses are collected into titled sections, each only a spread or two in length; the poetry is concise and witty (ÒWho. Ate. My. Dinner./ Your eyes say ‘no-no,’ but your/ breath brags of tunaÓ), technically deft, and age-accessible. Yelchin’s graphite-lined gouache art craftily echoes the verse, with a restrained spareness of style in the figures delicately partnering with comic touches such as the puppy’s exaggeratedly adoring gaze and the cat’s envious sulking. This has readaloud as well as readalone potential, and it could certainly add interest to a poetry unit. A note on the copyright page explains senryu (though not why the subtitle calls them haiku). DS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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