Lisa Doucet Reviews Two New Books from Beloved Children’s Author Lori Doody
Fans of Lori Doody will be doubly delighted with the release of two new picture books. Catalina is the story of a cat who has a seemingly “purrfect” life. Except for the fact that she is oftentimes lonely, a problem that her helpful humans seek to address by introducing three new puppies to the household.
These boisterous creatures eat her food, break her toys and take over her bed, leaving her more than a little cranky. But upon reflection, she realizes that maybe these new friends aren’t so bad after all.
Meanwhile, in Mr. Beagle and the Georgestown Mystery, Mr. Beagle finds himself caught up in another mystery when he visits his cousin George. In Georgestown, a cat burglar has been breaking into homes and stealing all of their storybooks.
Mr. Beagle has some suspicions but is surprised when he discovers who the culprit is. He learns an important lesson and comes up with an ideal solution to the burglar’s problem.
Featuring Doody’s distinctive folk art-y illustrations, these two books are typically quirky and delightful. While Catalina boasts a more varied colour palette, the simply told story is an astute depiction of a frustrated feline who soon comes to appreciate her new housemates.
The author liberally sprinkles the story with Newfoundland expressions (which are explained at the back of the book) and these add a different sort of colour and flavour to the story.
The new tale about Mr. Beagle has an uncomplicated plot and message about the problems that occur when one leaps to conclusions. Using fine, dark outlines and bold, bright colours, the tidy illustrations tell their own story. In typical Lori Doody fashion, both of these books use an economy of words, subtle humour and charming, distinctive illustrations to very good effect.