“Dog Confessions” and “I’d Rather Be a Cat” Winners!

black cat looking at books

Jelly Bean and I had our work cut out for us.

So we have two winners! I did toss the entries in the air and see which one Jelly Bean went for, but five black cats each wanted to choose the winner! Seems the others were a little miffed at the popularity of the little brother. I think we may have some competition for the next book review…

So I put the cat entries in one bag and the dog entries in another and let a neighbor choose.

First, the dogs

image of book dog confessions

Dog Confessions: Shocking Tales Straight from the Doghouse, from author's website.

The winner of Dog Confessions is Ale Oliver!

Now for the cats

cover of i'd rather be a cat

I’d Rather Be a Cat: the Official “Better Than Dogs” Cat Book, from author's website.

The winner of I’d Rather Be a Cat is Lane Hill House!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

If you didn’t win, but you’d still like one of the books…

About Allia and where to find the books

Allia Zobel Nolan is an internationally-published, award-winning author of over 170 children’s and adult trade titles with close to three million books in print and a long career in publishing as well as a fellow member of the Cat Writers’ Association. For more information about Allia, visit her website or her blog. These books and others by Allia are available in print at bookstores and also on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and directly from the publisher.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Book Review and Giveaway: Cat Truths and Dog Confessions

black cat looking at books

Jelly Bean and I had our work cut out for us.

So which one would you rather be, a cat or a dog?

You’d think we’d rather be the cats we are, but Jelly Bean was very curious about these dog things. We found that indeed we would rather be cats because we are already superior, but that some things dogs do sound pretty fun and…a cat might use an electric toothbrush to clean his tongue.

Author Allia Zobel Nolan has done it again—twice—with a pair of brand new gift books in her usual quick and witty style and colorful, whimsical design: Dog Confessions: Shocking Tales Straight from the Doghouse and I’d Rather Be a Cat: the Official “Better Than Dogs” Cat Book.

images of books

Two new gift books by author Allia Zobel Nolan.

Both pocket-sized books—easily carried for quick reference in discussions of dog and cat habits and virtues—feature delightfully detailed photos of cats and kittens and dogs and puppies in action, often in close-up so you can see the sincerity in their eyes, so we know these words came directly from them to Allia.

sample pages from books

Samples page from 'I'd Rather Be a Cat', from author's website.

And for the pure visual enjoyment of we human readers, each two-page spread is in a rich and bold color scheme to complement the animal depicted, so that turning each page leads to another to pause and enjoy the view as well as what the cats and dogs have to say. As a designer and artist I reveled in the design and visual pleasure of these two books as much as what the cats and dogs had to say.

black cat turning pages in book

Jelly Bean is paws-free while easily turning pages with his nose.

Jelly Bean found the pages very easy to flip through using only his nose, very convenient for our animal friends who don’t have thumbs. If more books were this size, other animals would be able to read much easier.

And while JB might have seemed more interested in looking at the cats and dogs and reading their statements, he is an art cat and paused for extra study on certain pages. He especially liked the clear faces on all the animals as he could read their feelings much easier (though I noticed he paused longer on the pages that included food).

All in all, he found both the size and design to be very pleasing for a cat of his abilities and sensibilities.

image of book dog confessions

Dog Confessions: Shocking Tales Straight from the Doghouse, from author's website.

First, the dogs

Following the similarly-designed and eye-catching Cat Confessions: A Kitty Come Clean Tell All Book, Allia was asked to diligently research and write a similar book about dogs. What was a dyed-in-the-fur cat person to do? After all the “tweets, texts, e-mails and snail mail” from dogs all over the world “begging (which they do so well) me to let them to shake off the guilt of their secret indiscretions”, Allia agreed to let them confess and go on to live new lives as “good dogs”!

Happy to finally confess their sins in public, the 30 dogs in Dog Confessions freely tell of intentional misbehaviors such as knowingly eating things they should not have, trading money for treats and using mommy’s lipstick. But they also confess to sins of vanity, such as Harley Boy who gets a regular mani-pedi to keep in touch with his feminine side, and of Maurice the French spaniel who bleaches his moustache.

But they also confess to not indulging in things we all thought were typical dog behavior! “I’ve never told a soul this, but I don’t chase my tail.” Can you believe that? “I really hate begging…it’s so bourgeois.” No, it’s not entirely what you think, and you might actually find a few confessions that are, well, “cat-like”!

cover of i'd rather be a cat

I’d Rather Be a Cat: the Official “Better Than Dogs” Cat Book, from author's website.

Now for the cats

In Cat Confessions we discovered that even the things cats unapologetically confess to are clever and show superior intelligence and ability. I’d Rather Be a Cat confirms that cats are still unapologetic about anything they choose to do and they really are the quieter, more introspective species and much “purrrr-furrrrrr” it that way.

It’s true that “…when something’s considered unattractive, what do humans call it? You got it—a ‘dog.’ ” Yes, feline abilities are often used as analogies for speed, agility, cunning and dignity while dogs, well, you don’t see many new car models or national sports teams named after dogs. One could argue that the cats in question are usually big cats, not domestic felines, but a cat is a cat, and that’s that, right?

And anyone knows that, “Dogs are known for their annoying trait—barking. Cats are recognized for the sweetest sound on earth—purring.” Really, I’ve never heard that barking can help heal anything, but purring, cats have been proved to purr at a frequency that actually facilitates healing.

Some of the things cats have to say are truly profound as well. “Cats are intuitive thinkers. We weigh our options before we pounce, if, in fact, we pounce at all.”

The consensus: cat or dog?

cat reading book

Perhaps the dog would share if he lived with Jelly Bean?

While we confirmed what we knew, that cats and dogs are clearly different, we also found endearing similarities such as an attraction to human food, and a propensity for simply being endearingly manipulative. And while Jelly Bean agreed with the feline sentiments, he found the dogs very interesting since he’s never met one in the fur and paid close attention to what they had to say, especially the pages where food was mentioned.

About Allia and where to find the books

Allia Zobel Nolan is an internationally-published, award-winning author of over 170 children’s and adult trade titles with close to three million books in print and a long career in publishing as well as a fellow member of the Cat Writers’ Association. For more information about Allia, visit her website or her blog. These books and others by Allia are available in print at bookstores and also on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and directly from the publisher.

Jelly Bean would also like you to know that he is, indeed, a child star in one of Allia’s books, the afore-mentioned Cat Confessions. Read about that in an earlier book review.

black cat with book

The choice is surprisingly difficult.

So what is your vote?

I have a copy of each of these books, only reviewed by myself and Jelly Bean as you see in the photos, that I’d love to give away to one of my readers. Please comment on this post with your vote, “cat” or “dog”, to be entered in the drawing, and feel free to vote for both books! You have from today, March 10 to next Saturday, March 17, to cast your vote.

I’ll write your name on a scrap of paper, toss them all in the air and let them land, and whichever one Jelly Bean sits on is the winner. No, probably I’ll be a little more scientific than that, but the drawing will no doubt involve little scraps of paper and Jelly Bean and even a few other members of my feline household.

I was provided review copies of these two books by the publisher and know the author personally, though Jelly Bean has never met her.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Chris Davis of Lighthearted Press on “Great Rescues”

An artist friend purchased a calendar and e-mailed her remarks today. I was so excited to hear from a fellow animal artist and author of several books! My portraiture style is very much in the fine art portraiture genre, though I do work in looser styles and different media, but I study the work of other artists all the time to inspire growth and change in my own work.

Chris Davis is one of those artists—I have one of her books, For Every Cat an Angel, which she sent after I lost my Peaches last year. I found her colorful, whimsical style so comforting for its lighthearted nature, and indeed that is the name of Chris’ publishing company, Lighthearted Press!

Here is what Chris wrote:

Bernadette, I sat down last night and read your calendar from cover to cover – it’s fabulous! Like a good book, I didn’t want it to end. Every cat lover should have one of these calendars. The stories are uplifting, and the notes and quotes you put on the calendar pages are helpful and inspiring.

I think you’ve created something very special here. Your stunning artwork jumps off each page. I enjoyed reading the additional info at the end, where you told more of each heartwarming story.

As an extra special gift, you included all those resources and important info at the back for anyone who shares their life with a cat. What a treasure! I’m delighted with this extraordinary work of art. I think all the love and care you give to your kitties was also given to this calendar…and it shows!

Congratulations, Bernadette – you’ve got a winner, here!

Cheers, Chris

www.lightheartedpress.com

And please visit Chris’ website to see her illustrated books! You’ll love them—and she’s working on a new one!


Boys and Books

two black cats cuddling with books

Boys and Books

They think it’s unfair that Kelly and Dickie were featured in the library before they were, especially since they’re a (nearly) matched set! Jelly Bean and Mr. Sunshine cuddle in a nap in the library of cat books. Yes, it seems my cats mostly seem to think that books are good props. We’ll see at some point if they managed to absorb any of the content.


Kelly Fell Asleep Reading

tortie cat sleeping on books

Sleepy Kelly in the Library

Well, maybe my cats aren’t the biggest readers and books are just a big sleeping pill for them, or maybe they really can absorb the content if they sleep with their heads on the books.

I’ve done some (lots) of reorganizing (cleaning) lately (while I’m eradicating fleas), and I finally got around to putting my cat books in order on this mahogany triple dresser that doubles as a very attractive file cabinet/storage unit in my office.

You know how kitties are—they have to investigate everything new and “try it on”, meaning placing themselves in or on the object, walking, bathing, playing and sleeping in the new/renewed area. Unfortunately for me, they were so darned cute for several days that I now have several hundred photos of nearly the entire household interacting with the books. They’re still at it over there, but I’ve got work to do so I just can’t look at what they’re doing.

I see a few paintings coming out of this series too.