Funny, Sweet, and Beautiful: Black and White Cat, White and Black Dog by Marlaena Shannon

Black and White Cat, White and Black Dog

by Marlaena Shannon

Ages 1 – 99+ (ideal for 3 to 7 years old). Muse Direct.  2013. 36 pages. ISBN: 978-0989773218. Fiction.

At a Glance/Summary:

This is a beautifully illustrated and endearing story of a cat and dog that, at first, don’t get along.  However, when the dog shares her food with the cat, they begin a wonderful friendship.  It’s a delightful story about friendship and a gentle reminder how a simple act of kindness can completely change a situation.  This is a fantastic book to share with anyone.  It’s pure goodness!  We all enjoy and highly, highly recommend this book. 

Where to Get it:

Why You Should Read this Book:

  • It is very funny.  We laughed throughout the entire story.
  • It has a very sweet ending.  Everyone loves to see a dog and a cat curled up together.
  • The illustrations are oil pastel on paper and are beautiful.  Each page is a full display of art.  The vast amount of  care and detail Marlaena Shannon has put into illustrating this book is readily apparent.
  • It’s an excellent book to approach conflict resolution.
    • By using a dog and cat as the main characters, the story gently addresses conflict. If your little one is having a hard time getting along with someone — this story gives a fresh perspective that relationships can and do get better with work.
    • This book emphasizes the positive.  (Eight pages of how they didn’t get along and 24 pages of how they do.)
  • This picture book is for everyone!  Toddlers to grandparents and everyone in between will enjoy this book.
  • There isn’t a lot of text and some pages only have one word of text on them.  This makes it very inviting for new readers.
  • You’ll feel so happy when reading this story.  Both my son and I were grinning when we finished the story and we both wanted to reread it immediately.
  • This is a fantastic book for a group story time.  (I will be bringing this book to my local library to show our children’s librarian.  She’s going to love it.)

How My Three-and-a Half-Year-Old Son Responds to this Book:

My son enjoys this book immensely.  We’ve read it about 20 times at this point and he adores it.  One unique feature this book has is that it asks a few well-placed questions to the audience throughout the story.  It was great having questions throughout the book.  My son would answer the questions enthusiastically and differently each time.  We both thought that it was a lot of fun and it engaged both of us in a different way than we’re used to when reading through a picture book.

He, as usual, asked lots of questions and had a lot of comments.  Each reading is a very active experience.  He loves the image of the cat and dog taking a bath together.  He asked if we could give our cat a bath.  He then asked for a white and black dog to keep our cat company.

Considering that he now has a new baby brother — this book is very relevant and helpful.  The baby spits up, cries, demands my attention, poops, and does other baby things that my son just doesn’t quite understand.  I keep telling my eldest that as the baby gets older he will spit up less, cry less, and be more fun and interactive.  I can’t promise that they’ll be best friends, but I can promise that sharing and being kind will make the relationship better.  So it is important for my eldest to share and be patient.  As the baby gets older and has started smiling, it is getting better.

This book has done a beautiful job of explaining to him that the first impression of his baby brother will not be his lasting impression.

Author/Illustrator Websites:


Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the author.  No other compensation was received.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. lumpyhead

    “Eight pages of how they didn’t get along and 24 pages of how they do.” — This is such a refreshing change from the norm of having most of a story be about the wrong way to do things with a token bit at the end of what you *should* do.


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