Monday, November 05, 2007

BOOK REVIEW: Hondo & Fabian, written and illustrated by Peter McCarty

This beautifully illustrated day-in-the-life tale focuses on the parallel stories of a dog and cat set in the 1930s or ‘40s. Hondo the dog goes off to spend the day at the beach with a canine pal. Fabian the cat stays at home with “the baby.” Each has adventures and readers are invited to decide which pet has more fun.

The language in Hondo & Fabian is spare, featuring parallel narratives using similar words and sentence structure.

“Hondo is going to the beach to meet his friend Fred.

Fabian is going to the living room to play with the baby.”

Hondo gets hungry after diving in the waves and “wishes he could eat the fish.” Fabian gets hungry after playing with the toilet roll and “wishes he could eat the turkey sandwich.”

The basic language allows children to elaborate on the story from their own experience and imagination. The large type size means this book will function well as a transitional book as your child starts to recognize words and practices reading.

Parents will enjoy the vintage feel of Peter McCarty’s exquisite pencil illustrations while children will respond to the loveable animals. As he states in an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, he loves the “pure visual shape of things from that era” and it is a period which features in many of his books.

Children who enjoy the adventures of Hondo & Fabian will want to read Fabian Escapes, the sequel in which Fabian explores the world while Hondo stays home with the baby. Hondo & Fabian was a Caldecott Honor Book in 2003 for Peter McCarty’s outstanding illustrations.

ISBN10: 0312367473
ISBN13: 9780312367473

Trade Paperback
32 Pages
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: May 2007
Author Website:


1 comment:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

We love Hondo and Fabian over here! Sadly, the Opening Act is getting too big and sophisticated for it now.

I'm going to keep it for the grandkids.