In the heart of Paris, lives Diva — a timid little dog with a big bark. Her small world becomes enlarged when befriended by Flea– an adventurous wondering cat who entices her to see what is just around the corner.
Author: Mo Willems
Illustrator: Tony DiTerlizzi
Length: 80 pages, approx 20-150 words per page
Word Choice: This is a well-written chapter book, with shorter chapters that leave you wanting to read ‘just a few pages more’. It is suitable for elementary kids (probably kids in grade 2 or 3 could enjoy this independently as the word level is generally simple, with some French vocabulary introduced but it is not written for beginner readers). The character development is stellar and amusing, giving the reader an unusual perspective (how cats and dogs might interpret the world they experience).
Illustrations: Charming pen and ink and watercolour drawings. The characters are endearing and have personality and believable expression.
Read-aloud-ability: This book reads aloud well. Though it is a chapter book and not necessarily meant to read aloud. My kids enjoyed it, especially the pictures. But we only read through the entire book a handful of times because they were a big young for it. I would love to read it again to them when they are a bit older.
Additional thoughts: This is an adorable story of an unlikely friendship between dissimilar characters — opposite personalities who have lived very different lives. Elementary school kids, particularly those who are fond of cats or dogs, will find this story delightful.
Kids’ Vote: 4 stars
Parents’ Vote: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 stars