Author-artist Nina Laden has taken her trademark wit and applied it to one of Shakespeare's best-loved plays. Adults familiar with the classic love story will delight in the many references to the original play, all of which make this a rarity: a children's book they want to read again and again. And young children who know nothing of the Bard will be riveted by this funny yet touching tale about Romeow the cat and Drooliet the dog, two star-crossed lovers who meet by chance, marry in secret, and are kept apart by a snarling rottweiler, appalled owners, and the animal control warden. The clever details throughout the book belie the careful research behind this homage to true love won and lost and in the case of this book won again proving once and for all that dogs and cats can be friends.
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Nina Laden lives in an old farmhouse in Seattle, which she renovated with her husband. She is the author of many books for children.From School Library Journal:
Grade 2-6–A delightful parody of Shakespeare's most famous love story. Romeow (the Felinis' favorite cat) and his brothers decide to attend a costume ball at the home of the cat-hating Barkers, where Romeow, of course, instantly falls madly, passionately in puppy-love with the beautiful Drooliet. Starry-eyed, they gaze at one another, dance, and enact the famous balcony scene, finally marrying in secret. Of course, their joy is short-lived as Turbo, the Barkers' rottweiler, decides to defend his family's honor and attacks Romeow and his brothers. At this point, the animal control warden leaps into the fray, catching Romeow and forcing the other animals to scramble for cover. Later, when Drooliet tries to run toward her imprisoned lover, she is struck down by a car, and only Romeow's selfless act of giving up one of his nine lives allows her to survive. No funeral, no gloom and doom–the families unite, and the loving couple goes off on a glorious honeymoon. As in When Pigasso Met Mootisse (Chronicle, 1998), Laden has created a spoof that is sure to delight its intended audience. Moving smoothly between humorous poetry and fast-moving, witty prose, she has successfully fashioned the story into a modern, happy tale. The gouache illustrations are well rendered, brightly colored, and filled with realistic details to frame the ironic twists of the story.– Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
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