May 17 – Get Caught Reading Month


About the Holiday

The Get Caught Reading campaign was initiated in 1999 by the Association of American Publishers with the idea to promote literacy and language development through reading to children and encouraging them to read on their own. As part of the campaign, posters of celebrities, dignitaries, and even fictional characters enjoying a book are available for schools, libraries, and other organizations to hang where kids will see them. The excitement of reading also takes over social media all month long, which this year is more important than ever. To celebrate this holiday, make sure you stock up on new and favorite books or download ebooks or audiobooks from your library and get caught reading! Learn more by visiting the Get Caught Reading website and the Every Child a Reader website.

Thanks to Two Lions and Blue Slip Media for sharing a copy of Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides

Written by Anna Kang | Illustrated by Christopher Weyant


Hudson, a lovable, shaggy mutt, and Tallulah, an orange tabby lived on opposite sides of a fence in their tidy neighborhood. Tallulah was just about to sneak up on a bird singing atop the fence when Hudson went “BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!” Tallulah took a last-ditch leap, but the bird—warned—flew away just in time. Tallulah fumed. “Hudson.” 

Tiptoeing along the fence top, Tallulah saw Hudson digging a hole underneath the fence on the other side of his yard. “I’m busting out,” Hudson told Tallulah. He felt fences kept him trapped. Tallulah thought fences kept them safe. Still, Tallulah followed Hudson down the street. Behind the café, Hudson found breakfast in the trash can. Tallulah thought it was disgusting.


Image copyright Christopher Weyant, 2021, text copyright Anna Kang, 2021. Courtesy of Two Lions.

She was much more interested in the butterfly flitting here and there, there and here, and right into Hudson’s open, yawning mouth. Tallulah pounced, out spit the butterfly. Now it was Tallulah’s turn to lead. When they passed the dog park, Hudson headed in to play with his friends, while Tallulah waited. When the other dogs saw her, they went nuts. “CAT! BARK! CAT!!! CAT!! BARK! BARK! BARK! CAT!” Tallulah thought dogs were ridiculous.

Hudson and Tallulah had different opinions about mud, a squirt from the hose, and Dave the mail carrier. To Tallulah Dave was a friend; to Hudson he was an enemy. “You’re MY enemy,” Tallulah said. They continued on, but on opposite sides of the street, until… they came to a big puddle full of birds. Tallulah leaped, Hudson bounded. They splashed and ran in circles chasing the birds. When they reached the other side of the puddle at the same time, they looked at each other and smiled. They sat side by side and watched the birds scatter across the sky. Now they find lots of things they like to do together, and their home’s fences can’t keep them apart, but they still enjoy a little friendly competition: “You’re on my side,” Tallulah tells Hudson. But Hudson counters, “You’re on mine.”


Image copyright Christopher Weyant, 2021, text copyright Anna Kang, 2021. Courtesy of Two Lions.

Anna Wang and Christopher Weyant work in perfect tandem in showing kids that even polar opposites that argue like cats and dogs can find areas of agreement and even have fun together. This gentle lesson in giving other people a chance will make kids giggle as Hudson and Tallulah’s clash over what is safe, delicious, worth chasing, and cleanliness comes to a head over Tallulah’s love for the mail carrier. Wang’s story is told entirely through dialogue between Hudson and Tallulah that makes it easy for kids to understand their quarrels.

Along the way, Weyant’s bright cartoon drawings depict the differences between Tallulah and Hudson with humor and personality. Where Hudson is quick and loud, Tallulah is sneaky and quiet. Hudson can’t wait to get under the fence; Tallulah relies on it. Hudson is messy; Tallulah is neat. The characters’ wry facial expressions will make kids laugh. When the two come upon the puddle full of birds, the wordless two-page spread, lets readers predict what’s going to happen. Hudson and Tallulah’s separate, but identical, reaction is playful, encouraging, and the kind of bonding experience that can lead to friendship—whether animal or human.

A story short enough to engage youngest readers who may be making their first forays into making friends, but thoughtful enough for older kids who may have hit a snag in making or keeping a friend, Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides is a charming choice for home and classroom story times as well as public library collections.

Ages 3 – 7

Two Lions, 2021 | ISBN 978-1542006682

Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant are the creators of Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner You Are (Not) Small as well as series titles That’s (Not) Mine, I Am (Not) Scared, and We Are (Not) Friends. They also wrote and illustrated Eraser, Can I Tell You a Secret?, and Will You Help Me Fall Asleep? Christopher’s work can also be seen in The New Yorker, and his cartoons are syndicated worldwide. This husband-and-wife team lives in New Jersey with their two daughters and their rescue dog, Hudson, the inspiration behind the character in this book. Visit them at and

You can connect with Anna on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

You’ll find Christopher on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Get Caught Reading Month Activity








There are lots of kittens and puppies to play with in these two printable puzzles!

Match the Kittens Puzzle | Match the Puppies Puzzle


You can find Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

To support your local independent bookstore, order from

Bookshop | IndieBound

Picture Book Review


December 30 – It’s National Cat Lover’s Month


About the Holiday

If you share your home with a cat, then you know how these furry friends can change your life. Whether you love them for their playful antics, for their companionship, or even for their independent spirit, your life just wouldn’t be the same without their daily presence. Cat Lovers Month is the perfect time to celebrate your cat or kitten with some extra attention and care. If you’re considering adopting a cat, now would be a great time to contact your local animal shelter or rescue group to give a cat a forever home.

The Catawampus Cat

Written by Jason Carter Eaton | Illustrated by Gus Gordon


On a regular Tuesday morning, the catawampus cat came into town “slightly askew.” Everyone was busy, so no one saw him until Mr. Grouse, the grocer, noticed his unusual walk and “tried to straighten him out.” His wife Lydia, who for twenty years had been chilly to her husband, asked what was wrong with the cat, and they both tilted their heads to study him. There, under the vegetable stand, they saw Lydia’s wedding ring lost twenty years before, and suddenly Mr. Grouse noticed that Lydia looked just as she did when they first met. “They kissed and on walked the catawampus cat, still askew…”


Image copyright Gus Gordon, 2017, text copyright Jason Carter Eaton, 2017. Courtesy of Crown Books for Young People.

The bored barber, “Bob Long, who was giving a woman a long bob,” saw the catawampus cat from his window and was so startled he snipped, and clipped the woman’s bangs at an angle. She loved it, and the catawampus cat continued on. He passed Tom who was painting the Mayor’s house in the usual way until he tilted his head to get a better look and scribbled a diagonal stripe down the front of the house. “‘Brilliant!’ Exclaimed Mayor Meyer. ‘A work of art!’”

The town daredevil made a world record after spotting the cat. The town librarian had a life-changing revelation after seeing the cat. And little Bushy Brows Billiam, suddenly understood his lesson better by looking at things a bit differently.


Image copyright Gus Gordon, 2017, text copyright Jason Carter Eaton, 2017. Courtesy of Crown Books for Young People.

All through town, people began tilting their head and even walking at a slant. Architects began building homes, apartments, and stores that leaned, and car makers designed “off-kilter” vehicles. The effect on the town and the people was amazing. They found favorite possessions they thought lost forever, “and rediscovered old friends they thought they’d never know again.” The first Tuesday of the year was designated “Catawampus Cat Day.” Confetti was flung at an angle, a band played off-key, and the crowd was entirely catawampus.

“‘Well? What do you think of it?’” Mayer Meyer excitedly asked the catawampus cat. “‘We’re all different now, just like you.’” The catawampus cat gazed at him thoughtfully, then stretched, “straightened himself out…and walked out of town, once again uniquely catawampus.”


Image copyright Gus Gordon, 2017, text copyright Jason Carter Eaton, 2017. Courtesy of Crown Books for Young People.

In his delightfully inventive story, Jason Carter Eaton rejoices in all those people (and cats) who walk their own way through life. He encourages young readers to embrace their uniqueness, telling them it’s a good thing to view the world with a different perspective. Even as the catawampus cat inspires the townspeople, Eaton strikes a humorous cautionary note about the nature of fads. He also happily reminds readers that the truly innovative will always find a way to be different.

Gus Gordon’s adorably confident cat sets off his chain reaction of “uniqueness” in detailed mixed-media illustrations that provide lots of opportunities for kids to discover new (and old—sometimes even antique) perspectives as they watch the catawampus cat walk through this diverse town in his own particular way. Surprising and funny details drawn in along the way will also have readers lingering and giggling over each page. Cat lovers will recognize some endearing cat-titudes in the catawampus cat that make feline friends so loveable. The endpapers provide a map of the catawampus cat’s route through this very lucky town.

Smile- and laugh-inducing from cover to cover, The Catawampus Cat would be a favorite and often-asked-for choice for home and classroom libraries.

Ages 4 – 8

Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017 | ISBN 978-0553509717

To learn more about Gus Gordon, his books, and his art, visit his website.

National Cat Lover’s Month Activity


A Little Ball of Kitten Love


This sweet little kitten is easy to make and can keep you company on your desk or shelf! Since every kitten is different, you can make yours to look just the way you want. Here’s how I made mine:


  • Wooden ball with a flat bottom, available in craft stores and in different sizes
  • Craft paint in any color kitten you’d like (I used red and yellow and mixed it to make a mottled orange)
  • Craft paint in pink or white for the inner ear
  • Scrap of fleece for the ears. Fleece is easily shaped to the rounded ball and when painted is stiff enough to stand up on its own.
  • Thin, colored wire in several colors for the tail (string or twine, wrapped wire, fleece, stiff paper, and other materials could also be used)
  • Paint brush
  • Permanent marker for making the face
  • Hot glue gun or strong glue


  1. Paint the wooden ball and let dry
  2. Paint the scrap of fleece to match the wooden ball, let dry
  3. Cut out small triangular shapes for the ears. Round the bottom of the ears slightly so they fit the shape of the ball
  4. If making a tail from several colors of thin wire, twist them together, leaving one end untwisted
  5. With the glue gun or strong glue attach the ears to the top of the head
  6. With the glue gun attach the tail to the back of the wooden ball in the center near the base
  7. With the marker, draw eyes, nose, and mouth for the face and semicircles near the bottom for the paws


You can find The Catawampus Cat at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

To support your local independent bookstore, order from

Bookshop | IndieBound

Picture Book Review