HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8When a Cat Lover Writes Dog Haiku Poems

When a Cat Lover Writes Dog Haiku Poems

Lee Wardlaw | The Children’s Book Review | April 6, 2015

When a Cat Lover Writes Dog Haiku Poems

To write it, it took three months; to conceive it – three minutes;

to collect the data in it – all my life.

– Anonymous

Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in HaikuI know cats. My first spoken word was ‘kitty’. At age six, I adopted my first kitten.  Since then, I’ve shared my home with 30 folks of the feline persuasion. (Not all at the same time, of course!) And I’m a card-carrying member of the Cat Writers’ Association. So creating Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku was catnip to me: easy to pounce on, play with, and write rhapsodic about.

Not so with Won Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku.

WON TON AND CHOPSTICK coverI’ve never owned a dog. Growing up, I knew only two: Sheba, the grumpy, elderly German Shepherd from next door who nipped at me when I attempted to sell her owner Girl Scout Cookies; and Coco, the frenzied miniature poodle with rheumy eyes who belonged to my best friend’s grandma. She would wee-wee on the carpet if you even thought about glancing at her. (Coco, not Grandma.)

Don’t get me started on strangers’ canines. (Why do their snouts always make a beeline for my crotch? I bathe. Girl Scout’s honor!)

So before I could write Won Ton and Chopstick, I actually had to do research. On dogs.

I visited lonesome pups at our local animal shelter. I talked to Friends with Dogs. I interviewed a certified animal behaviorist.

Lee Wardlaw dog research_children's book review

What I learned is this: dogs and cats are surprisingly similar in many ways.  Here are two examples from Won Ton and Chopstick:

I play with balls, too!

But much smaller, less slobber.

And I never fetch.

Great Rats!  It’s only

thunder! Who knew you were a

scaredy cat? (Like me!)

Oh, sure. Cats are self-cleaning. Dogs must be groomed. Cats speak only when they have something important to say. Dogs are happy to yip, yelp, and yowl at the drop of a mailman’s hat.

But both species—just like human siblings—feel the indignation of perceived unfairness . . . the fear of replacement . . . the heat of jealousy . . . and the loneliness that comes from uncertainty of where one stands in the family.

They also love their people.

So it seems I know a lot more about dogs than I thought. As Won Ton puts it:

Some parts of woof I

will never understand. But…

practice makes purrfect.

=^..^=

About the Author
Lee Wardlaw

Lee Wardlaw

Lee Wardlaw is the author of 30 books for young readers, including Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku, recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Children’s Poetry Award, the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, and the Purina/Fancy Feast “Love Story” Award. She lives in Santa Barbara with her family and her dog-disdaining cat, Papaya.

PawsToRead.com | Facebook | Twitter

WON TON AND CHOPSTICK coverWon Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku

By Lee Wardlaw; Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

Publisher’s Synopsis: Won Ton has a happy life with his Boy, until…

Ears perk. Fur prickles.

Belly low, I creep…peek…FREEZE!


My eyes full of Doom.


A new puppy arrives, and nothing will be the same.

Told entirely in haiku and with plenty of catitude, the story of how Won Ton faces down the enemy is a fresh and funny twist on a familiar rivalry.

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.  | 2015 | ISBN-13:  978-0805099874

Available Here: 

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Fun Stuff

Activity Kit for Won Ton and Chopstick:
http://www.leewardlaw.com/PDF/Won-Ton-and-Chopstick-Activity-Kit.pdf

Teacher’s Guide for Won Ton and Chopstick:
http://www.leewardlaw.com/PDF/chopstickguidefinal.pdf

Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of  WON TON–WON TON: A CAT TALE TOLD IN HAIKU and WON TON AND CHOPSTICK: A CAT AND DOG TALE TOLD IN HAIKU, by Lee Wardlaw and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin. Giveaway ends May 5, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST. Enter here»

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The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by a guest author.

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