Calvin is a little dog whose people have just adopted Gloria, a fluffy, prissy cat who doesn’t understand that there are BOUNDARIES, and Calvin doesn’t like her. Gloria gets all of the attention and Calvin just gets in trouble. He’s justifiably upset, too. “The first thing she did was eat out of my bowl. MY bowl. She has her own bowl. It says GLORIA on it. Mine says CALVIN. Can’t she read?” Gloria, meanwhile, revels in her special status until the animals find something they can agree upon. The new pet rabbit, Jeffrey? “We REALLY don’t like Jeffrey!” Most readers will have some experience having to compete with someone or something else for attention and will be able to relate to Calvin’s story. He is always shown front and center on each right hand page, as if he is talking directly to his sympathetic and outraged audience. His expression ranges from bewildered, to angry (showing a few teeth), to sad (when he tries to chase Gloria up into a tree and she doesn’t even budge). The classic ending will have everyone smiling, except for Jeffrey, who looks a little worried. What’s next? A budgie? A hamster? An anaconda?
* * * * Stars Picture book Reviewed by Karin Thogersen, Young Adult Librarian