Weekly Readings VI (National Pet Month Double Feature)


 dog-reading father_cat_reading



Welcome one and all to another edition of Weekly Readings!

For those new here, Weekly Readings is when your lit. rat reviews picture books I’ve read here and there. While T.A.A. focuses on animal stories, we do give humans their due now and again…



This week, in honor of “National Pet Month” your lit. rat brings you two exceptional books, both of which were Kickstarter projects that met their goals and are now available for you to check out, once you’ve read our reviews, of course!

Before getting into our reviews, I have , as long time T.A.A. fans know I participated in spreading the word as well as donating my money  with the hopes of seeing these books to publication, and prompted me to launch “T.A.A. CARES” as a way to spotlight and support authors and other creatives in need, but that said, I still reviewed the books below on their own merits as I do every book I review, just being transparent.






Written by: Stanley Potter

Illustrated by: Jordan Henderson (@taleandteller)

Publisher: Little Thunder Co.

Pub. Date: February 1st, 2014

I got to be honest, I wasn’t always a fan of cats, as I had bad experiences with them in real life, this was long before I took the title of “Literary Rat” but after watching “Oliver and Company” several times in my youth (during the pre-Netflix era)  I slowly started to see the feline world differently…


I’m still an unabashed dog fancier, but there may come a day when a lad or lass of the feline persuasion will enter my life, but that’s another story…

While I often lament the “extremist minimalist” movement in picture books these days, this is one book where I don’t mind the spare narrative as it gives the reader and pre-reader lots of room to make the book their own.

The art truly LEAPS off the page, and the spare text does its job while leaving a lot to the imagination. The most apparently noticeable touch for all us wordsmiths or ones in training is the creative use of fonts.

(If you’re read Jon Scieszka’s “The Stinky Cheese Man” or the “Geronimo Stilton” series you know of what I speak) 

GS and Cheese



Most books about cats (at least when I was growing up) were stereotypically aimed at girls, and while that persists, this a book that I’m sure girls would love is also something boys would enjoy given Chalky’s rambunctious spirit and physically charged curiosity.

As my feline friend and colleague, Dempsey Woyzeck (of Swinebert and Dempsey) has said when I read him the story-

“For every dog lover who got ‘stuck with a cat’ will find newfound respect and interest in the feline mystique.”

High praise straight from one well-read kitty!

(Since he too has a human who still wants a dog, but learned to love cats thanks to Dempsey)

Plus, those of you who LOVE kernels of truth in your reading will be glad to know that titular cat has a real life basis!




Even when I had issues with cats in real life from a personal perspective, I still found them fascinating from a writer’s perspective, and while I’ll always be a dog lover, “Chalky and The New Sports Car” is a short and sweet bold taste of my newfound appreciation for cats, and I was honored to have had a small part in bringing this book to readers everywhere!






Written by Adam Glendon Sidwell

Illustrated by Edwin Rhemrev

Publisher: Future House Publishing

Pub. Date: May 15th, 2014

Of course, being a dog lover, this book couldn’t escape my radar, this  also has the honor of being the first Kickstarter that your lit rat put up some of his own limited finances, and inspired me to launch our “T.A.A. CARES” initiative to help authors and other creatives achieve their passion projects, and lend a proverbial paw to the word of mouth and when possible, contribute money to ensure they reach the finish line.


Learn how FETCH came to be-

Now having read the final book I can say without bias that it proved to worth the wait!

Like “Chalky and the New Sports Car” this books uses spare but effective text, letting the breaktaking illustrations give you a sense of transcending to a whole other world.


Fans of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” will find this world of canine majesty just as full of enchanting possibilities as Equestria, and if anyone from the Hub Network reads this, you may want to snatch up the television rights to this one! (just some friendly advice from The Literary Rat)

This a true love letter to dog lovers everywhere and I’m honored to give it T.A.A.’s Blue Ribbon of Approval-

FETCH (Blue Ribbon Ver.)


This is one book that will NEVER

leave my private library-





That’s it for Weekly Readings, check back next time!


NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: If my ramblings convinced you to buy one or more of the books mentioned above, please support T.A.A. by clicking on the affiliate cover images above or links within the review.



From The Desk of The Literary Rat (My Writing Process Blog Tour)


 Hi All,  


It’s no secret your lit. rat’s had a hard month emotionally, but I want to end on a positive note, so today I’m sharing a little peak into my writing process courtesy of the “*My Writing Process Blog Tour.

Jami-Full-Picture-e1280895288949*Special Thanks to author Jami Gold (@JamiGold) for the open invitation to take part in this blog tour event!







For those of you newcomers, when I’m not “The Literary Rat” on T.A.A. I’m a novelist specializing in animal fantasy, hence our site’s name and theme, and my debut novel, GABRIEL, will soon be published by Alten Ink. (You can watch the first round of book trailers on T.A.A.’s YouTube Channel!)

What Am I Working on?


 Aside from edits on my debut mentioned above, I’m working on various WIPs, one of which is a sequel to GABRIEL, the other two are new books outside the world of GABRIEl. One of which under the working title “The Baroque Weasel.”

How Does My Work Differ from Others of Its Genre?


I flip and/or rewrite the rules all too common in the animal fantasy, the most common being- One of the common tropes in my world is a human who can talk to animals, but it has to be a secret from all for various reasons.


I choose to have it be open, meaning anyone can communicate across species, but for some stories, you have to be willing to listen (Think Peter Pan and being willing to believe in fairies and other “impossible” things in order for them to happen)

Another thing writers of animal stories need to consider (assuming we’re not writing nonfiction) is how “Real” our animal characters are.

Do they take the cartoony approach, as zany and unreal as possible? Are they human-like, wear clothes, and if so, are humans out of the picture, or is it a hidden society deal.


Or do we opt for something 100% naturalistic. They don’t speak, have no human-like autonomy and thoughts, and would just as at home in an issue of National Geographic as in the fiction we’re writing. (Think Shiloh) 


Or do we dare, as I do, to be in the hazy nexus of semi-naturalistic, we use real world facts and knowledge of our animal heroes and heroines when possible, but exercise the right to be as zany and a little bit cartoony.


Many classic and contemporary characters walk this line. Some more obvious than others.


In my novel, Gabriel, I made the decision to be in that hazy middle with my nonhuman cast, in this case, rats.   They do speak, wear minimal clothing, and live amongst humans in their “hidden” society.


But while they (and other animals) can speak to humans, many choose not to, for various reasons, most common the distrust they have with humans, such as my antagonist.


Too often humans are portrayed as the ultimate evil from the animal’s perspective. I wanted Gabriel to explore the idea that just like animals we humans demonize in our culture (wolves, weasels, and RATS too!) there are just as many (I’d argue FAR MORE) humans who respect the natural world, and while we may not all be vegetarians or vegans, we see animals not solely as food. Or condone them being objectified for trophy and sport.


For every “Cruella Deville” there’s a “Jane Goodall” For every “Hunter” in Babar’s world, there was also a kind soul who treated him and other with respect.


But I also gave them as much of their naturalistic traits as possible in terms of what they eat, where they live, and the dangers they face in the wild and in human-centric environments like small towns and cites.


Another thing to consider is how the world is set up. Some stories like the “Redwall” series are animals only, and that frees you up from having to think about the logistics of animal-friendly tools and weaponry.


Some stories, like “Charlotte’s Web” and “The Wind and The Willows” have animals and humans co-existing in the same world, but separated.


Humans live in one, animals live in another, and in most cases, rarely if ever the two meet, and often not positive for either side, which also harkens back to how real or not your animal characters are and humanity’s response.


The “Doctor Doolittle” approach thrives here, but hinges on the idea that only one person can hear what most people cannot, and thus, secrecy to avoid presumed insanity on the human’s part.


A contemporary example would be “Littlest Pet Shop” an animated series based on the popular toy line franchise of the same name where a teenage girl can talk to animals through unexplained (at least thus far) means, and forms a deep bond with a particular band of day care pets where she works part time.

Why Do I Write What I Do?


First and foremost, because I love it, and having been raised on it since age 4, I don’t have the “suspension of disbelief” hang-up other readers do who either don’t read/watch much fiction, or are Type A academic realists who are strict taskmasters for accuracy at all times, and don’t get me wrong, I love historical fiction for a lot of the same reasons I can’t write it.


But as an author myself I don’t like being married to fixed of thinking and being.  


I hope readers will start to see animals a little differently after finishing one of my books. Science is now proving they feel many of the same emotions, fears, and needs we do, they just can’t tell us in ways we easily understand. We can teach them to fear us, just as much as we STRUGGLE for them to trust us, and it’s no secret (especially those of us pet owners our there, myself included) that when we earn an animal’s trust, its no less gratifying than earning the trust of others our own species.


While I bend the rules of natural science a bit, I truly believe every animal has a voice, the trick in real life is working that much harder to hear it, in the world of my fantastical fauna, I just make it a little bit easier, and more fun, to let them speak for themselves however I can.


But the journey taken still requires work on the human’s part, mind you!


Even though I may not follow the laws of science in expressing that, I do believe they have much to teach people, if we’re willing to listen, for the many of the same reasons we underestimate what our ALL TOO HUMAN children can teach us about life.


Animals have had roles in nature long before humanity, as we know it today, so it makes sense that we can learn from them, and hopefully in spite of the harm and extinction we’ve caused, the creatures left among us today will find positive things in us, too.

How Does My Writing Process Work?


While every book has its own process, there are lot commonalities for my work thus far, often the title or the name of the protagonist will come first.   With Gabriel, the premise came first, a toymaking rat and exploring friendships and how they evolve or at times, stagnate.


In the case of “The Baroque Weasel” the title came first years before I really started working on it. It was actually a legend from another book idea I had but I liked it so much it became its own thing entirely.


Also, this title has multiple meanings, the main character is a weasel, but it also relates to something key in the story.   For Gabriel, I took the approach of having the character’s name be the title since he’s the protagonist and the heart of the story.


When it comes to the actual writing, I prefer to draft from beginning to end in a linear manner, it’s easier to keep in my head, and I’m less likely to write the same thing twice than if I hopped around (i.e. write the end before the beginning)

Handoff Time!


In the spirit of inclusion, just as Jami Gold has done, I open all bloggers who follow T.A.A. to share their writing process stories. 

To participate, write a blog post next week (or when you can!) and-

  1. Acknowledge the person and the site who invited you into the tour (that’d be me and you’d link back to this post). I’d also appreciate linking to our Twitter feeds (@TAA_Editor/@Taurean_Watkins)
  2. Label your post as part of the My Writing Process Blog Tour.
  3. Answer these same four questions about your writing process in the post.
  4. Nominate and link to up to three people to participate who would then post their answers the week after yours. 


Finally, please share your post in the comments below and I’ll update this post with your submissions!

Giveaway Winner! (Finally Announced)

Good Word Friday Banner

This week’s “Good Word Friday is brief” even by my standards (Long time T.A.A. fans know full well what I mean…)

This week’s been CRAZY in some good and not good ways. But to begin the weekend on a happy note-

I Am Otter


It’s high time to announce the winner of our ” I Am Otter” book giveaway!

The winner is…Marissa from Seattle, WA!

Congratulations Marissa, send us your contact info to taury-At-talkinganimaladdicts.com and we’ll ship your copy of “I Am Otter” in the coming week.

Thanks to all who entered, and fear not if you missed out, we’ll have more giveaways throughout the year.


If you’re interested in this book, read our review! 


That’s it for today. Until next time, may the fantastical fauna be with you.

Weekly Readings (Mother’s Day 2014 Edition)


Mother’s Day has always been a hard day for me for various reasons (a bit too noir to go into for those of you where this is a happier time), but anyway, I thought it was apt to do a special edition of Weekly Readings, celebrating motherhood in the world of fantastical fauna.


Usually, we give a round of reviews for picture books, and while we mostly specialize in animal stories, humans get their down every now and again.


Since most of us are busy with special breakfasts in bed, lunches or dinners out, or you may even be celebrating being a mother for the first time (post-labor) so we’ll focus on two of my favorite books, one about finding your mother, and another about a mother cheering her on her kid’s uniqueness-

Lyle Finds His Mother

Lyle Finds His Mother

by Bernard Waber

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pub. Date: September 26, 1978


As T.A.A. loyalists know, I’m mad (in a GOOD way) about Lyle the Crocodile, and in honor of the first anniversary of his creator, Bernard Waber’s death (T.A.A. paid tribute during Picture Book Month 2013), I wanted to highlight this in, which as the title suggests, our friendly neighborhood crocodile goes on a search to find his birth mother.  I don’t spoil how this journey plays out, but I will say this-

I don’t read a lot of books that are specifically about mothers. In particular, about the mother-son relationships, as that hits a sore spot for this lit. rat, even now as I’m no longer a rattling who hadn’t yet found his love of books.

But this is a story I can read without that weight lodged in my heart, and if you have a similar hole in your heart regarding lack of maternal closeness with your mother, this can be the first step to making some sense of peace with it. It certainly did for me.




by Elizabeth Rose Stanton (@PenspaperStudio)

Publisher: Paula Wiseman 

(An Imprint of Simon & Schuster)

Pub. Date: January 7th, 2014


NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: This is re-post of our original review for Henny, that while not “Mother’s Day”

themed, does include a mother who celebrates her “Little Clucker’s” uniqueness!

In the spirit of Dumbo and the works of Todd Parr, along comes Henny, a chicken born with unusually long arms and hand-like wings! A great “Okay to be Different” story without getting hokey about it. While I often lament the minimalist movement in picture books these days, this book makes great use of minimalism in both words and illustrations.

Zeroing in on our heroine and how she makes the most of her unique physique features! The picture book answer to R.J. Palacio’s middle grade novel “Wonder” with a fantastical fauna twist! Elizabeth Rose Stanton: This is a debut to be proud of.

Happy Mother’s Day to one and all! Don’t forget, tomorrow’s Children’s Book Week, and T.A.A. will be doing some fun stuff both here, across social media, and on our YouTube/Vimeo channel! Until then, may the fantastical fauna be with you!

ANOTHER NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: If my ramblings convinced you to  buy one or more of the books mentioned above, please support T.A.A. by clicking on the affiliate cover images above or links within the review.

“Reading Up” for Children’s Book Week!


Today’s post is brief but important.

Children’s Book Week 2014 will soon be upon us and T.A.A.’s celebrating in a BIG way-  


[embedplusvideo height=”350″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1j5Y8RY” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/9f_-YM4FNNQ?fs=1&vq=hd720″ vars=”ytid=9f_-YM4FNNQ&width=640&height=350&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=1&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep9830″ /]



Subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you’ll be among to first to see our special series of videos all next week! I’ll share more details tomorrow.


Also, there’s still time to enter our “I Am Otter” giveaway (Open to U.S. and Canada Only)

Head to our review for details on how to enter to win a cope of the book!

That’s it for today, I’ve got to get my munchies ready for the “My Little Pony” season finale! If you’re a fellow fan of the show, keep an eye out for tweets from your lit. rat later this morning!


Until next time, may the fantastical fauna be with you.




Good Word Friday – Curse of Granville Fortune Cover Reveal + Giveaway!

Good Word Friday Banner

Welcome back to Good Word Friday!

This week, I’m honored to share in a WORLDWIDE cover reveal for THE CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE, the upcoming release from my friend, author Kelly Hashway-


Granville Fortune 2


By Kelly Hashway

Pub. Date: October 22, 2014* (*Date subject to change!)

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.


Your lit. rat once beta-read an early version of this book, and while much has changed since first I saw in process, I know Kelly and her team at Tatum Books have worked this to a top-tier novel, and I can’t wait to read the final version! 



Find the fortune, break the curse!


The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to twelve-year-old J.B.’s family history. He’s been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entire family will suffer.


To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he’s not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he’ll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it’s too late.



Reading is a thing of magic. It has allowed me to enter into worlds I never would have known. I’ve cried, laughed, and been scared right alongside my favorite characters. And my hope is that one day kids will do the same for my characters. I want kids to see that reading is one of the greatest gifts. Luckily, my daughter already agrees with me!

Connect with Kelly:  Website | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads


You can enter Kelly’s giveaway to win a copy of the ebook version below (This giveaway is open to everyone!)-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until May 16th, 2014!






I Am Otter

Finally, a quick reminder, there’s still time to enter T.A.A.’s giveaway to win a (Hardcover) copy of “I Am Otter” by Sam Garton. (Only open to U.S. and Canada)

Head to our review, and leave a comment with your real first name, last name initial, city and state, or province for Canadians. You have until 5/14/14 before MIDNIGHT EST to enter!

We’ll pick a winner at random and announce it 5/15/14.


Weekly Readings V

Weekly Readings V (BETA)


T.A.A. Fans Old and New,

Welcome to another edition of Weekly Readings! 


Usually, Weekly Readings is when your lit. rat reviews a mix of picture books I’ve read here and there. But this week, I’m focusing on one book in particular- 


I Am Otter Cover

I Am Otter (@i_am_otter)

by Sam Garton (@SamuelGarton)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (An Imprint of HarperCollins)

Pub. Date: April 29, 2014

As Long time T.A.A. fans know, this book was one of our “Most Anticipated Book of 2014” picks during our 2013 celebration of “Picture Book Month” founded and run by author Tara Lazar (Her debut picture book “The Monstore” is available June 4th, 2014) and this is one of the few things in life I have ever pre-ordered, which I can still count on one hand.


Your lit. rat has read and re-read this book, and I’m happy to finally be able to say it was worth the wait. But for those of you not yet convinced, or just unaware of this book (and it’s star) allow me to clue you in, but before I go further-

Question, what do “I Am Otter” and Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series have in common?

They both began as online “Experiments” that soon attracted many eyeballs across the web, and particularly in the case of Otter, across continents, and soon their now publishers (Amulet Books [U.S.] and Balzer + Bray [imprint of HarperCollins] respectively) approach them for bringing them to print, and the road to this book’s release is a great example of “Out of the Box” marketing that today’s authors and/or illustrators can learn from, but that’s a topic for another time and place… 


Anyway, our tittle character has something in common with another famous kidlit character, the iconic Paddington Bear, who also began life anew when he migrated from darkest Peru to England where a mild-mannered family took him in, unaware of the adventures and antics that would await them…  


But while P.B. had an established biological family in his native homeland before being taken in by the Brown family, Otter began not knowing where she came from when left on the doorstep of the human (Known as Otter Keeper) who like the Browns, got more than he bargained for…


Children from adoptive or blended families can relate to Otter’s initial unease settling in, and like many children, a special toy friend can make all the difference, just like Christopher Robin and Pooh and Co., or a non-wizard Harry had his bucket of dinosaurs, Otter has Teddy, and together with Otter Keeper, they have more fun than you could believe!


But as the saying goes, all unbelievable fun has to come to an end, and after a fun-filled weekend, Monday comes, and with that, Otter Keeper goes to work, and despite Otter’s attempts to prevent Monday from coming, it always barges in-   sad dog eyes

This is one of rare books that comes along every so often, where the reader’s not only rewarded with a plucky, well-defined character, but for anyone who had to “Make your own fun” from an early age as I did, can relate to Otter doing her best to pass the time, some ideas working better than others, and yet somehow always involve messes and mayhem, just when the grown-up in your life comes home and there’s nowhere to hide!


As with many picture books, facial expressions are very important to highlight the unspoken moments that bring characters alive, and that vital quality is in full view here as subtle lines and shading indicate fear, anger, movement and joy.

While many folks relent (or at least occasionally bummed out) how digital the world of visual arts has become, there’s nothing to fear here.  To me, the best visual artists still achieve this organic warmth to their illustrations, even if the final art to appear in the book was digitally enhanced, or it was digital all along.


Even books where technology is inherently modern and integral to the story, that warmth is still there, and vital to the experience. You’ll find that detail throughout.


Not since Snoopy, Garfield, or Calvin and Hobbes have I met a character as lively and unique as Otter, may she have a long and lorded life in the literary landscape for many years to come.

Look out, Olivia, there’s a new picture book princess in town. (We still love you, too, though!)


While this lit. rat normally prefers to work solo when it comes to our book reviews at T.A.A., this was a title that I wanted some extra POVs on, and with that, I’ll let my friends, Swinebert & Dempsey (who shared in the launch celebration of I Am Otter at the end of April 2014), share their thoughts on Otter, her book, and it how relates to them-


Swinebert: This book reminded me of the day I met Ferenc. I used to live on a ranch with my Ma, Pa, and siblings.

Unlike most pigs, we weren’t raised to be…food, but rather for show.Ma was a retired show pig, and Pa worked in movies (Think Babe or Gordy), and to Mr. Gregory we weren’t his “Meal Ticket” in more ways than one, we were his friends, family even.


But times got tough  when the human recession of 2008 hit. Mr. Gregory was being pressured to sell the ranch, and sell me, and my siblings for slaughter meat. It was during those scary times I met Ferenc when he was a kid.


He not only found a way to save the ranch, but saved me, my sibs, and our folks from being sent to Hog Heaven (By way of a Butcher) and gave Mr. Gregory a new lease on life along with his livelihood.


When Mr. Gregory insisted on giving Ferenc a reward for his help, the only thing he wanted, was to take me home.   He had a heck of a time convincing his parents to bring me home, but thank acorns he did.


Ferenc also gave me my name, the “Bert” in it came from his favorite uncle, and my new life had begun in earnest…

Ferenc and Swinebert Collage 2 (Left Ferenc & Swinebert as Youth | Right, Ferenc & Swinebert Grown-Up)

For many years we lived in Brooklyn, but after Ferenc grew up and graduated college we moved out to put down our own roots in White Oak Acres, a quiet-looking city-town hybrid in suburbia- Overhead view of White Oak Acres

(Overhead view of White Oak Acres)

winebert and Dempsey's House

 (Swinebert & Dempsey’s House)

Here I would meet my best pal, Dempsey, and make so many new and captivating friends, including Otter.


Though we’ve not met outside cyberspace, I knew when I first encountered her when me and Dempsey were getting our barrings on Twitter, she’d fit right in with the folks we know and love offline. 


But even though she’s my friend, I’d love the book even if I’d not known her (virtually or otherwise) beforehand, because it reminds me how lucky I am to have Ferenc, and while I’m sometimes ticked off when he leaves me out of cool stuff, he’s there for me when it counts.  The only problem is- TRUG 2

(Swinebert’s Nephew,Trug)

My little nephew Trug (who loved the book, too, after his favorite uncle, ME, read it to him) has fallen in love with Otter, and when I say love, I mean the “Flowers and Chocolate-covered acorns, WILL YOU MARRY ME?” kind of love.


Otter, should you read this, can you please give a shout out to my nephew Trug on Twitter? I don’t want to lose my “Coolest Uncle Ever!” status. Swinebert's Signature (FINAL) MINI  Dempsey: Like Swinebert, this book reminded me of the day I met my human, Vermont (Goes by “Vernie”) back when I was a kitten. (This was long before I met Swinebert and his human, by the way)  


Vernie (when he was a little boy) originally wanted a dog, but got me instead, and at first he didn’t like me.

I too wasn’t sure I’d like Vernie at first, either, until I saw his room the first time, and saw his bookshelf, filled to bursting with books, except the last shelf on the bottom. (More on that later…)

Vernie loved to read, as did I, that was the first glimmer of hope, but what put my kitty heart at ease was when he was reading a book for school.


Vernie had a hard time learning to read, and reading aloud helped him remember it better, one night as he read aloud, I hopped onto the desk to keep him company.   Also, because he was reading a story I wanted to hear for ages. He saw I was engaged and he kept reading to me.

When he finished, I thanked him for telling me the story, and that I could help him read better if he was interested, and if you could’ve seen the look on his face, you’d think he’d won MILLIONS or something.

Anyway, he agreed, and as I helped him read better, we started to connect, the first time he hugged me (Because he WANTED to, not because he was told to) I wanted to cry tears of joy, but we cats aren’t ones for crying (Unless we’re in pain) so I purred instead.


I asked him why he didn’t like me at first.


He said the last time he met a cat, it was mean to him, and he did nothing wrong to it, and it made him think all cats were mean, but meeting me changed his mind, and I’d already changed my mind about Vernie. No one who loves books as he does (Especially because he struggled with reading in the beginning) can be all bad.

He’s grown up now, and still wants a dog, so S.B. and I’ll probably have a howling new member of the family someday, but Vernie and I are like Otter and Teddy now, true friends and inseparable, until (like Otter Keeper) he has to go to work, but with S.B. and our friends, I’m never bored or lonely.


But when I do want my “Alone Time” (which all cats do at some point) I can nap in the bottom shelf of Vernie’s bookcase that I mentioned earlier,  and can look at a picture of Vernie and me when I do miss him, or read a book from my literary collection, but I have to store most of my books in my private library in my and S.B.’s backyard clubhouse-

Swinebert and Dempsey's Backyard Clubhouse


(Swinebert & Dempsey’s Backyard Clubhouse)

  All My Anchovies, Dempsey Special Thanks to Swinebert & Dempsey (@Swinebert_and_D) for stopping by to share their opinions (and a bit of themselves) today.   That’s it for Weekly Readings. Next time, we’ll be back to our usual multi-book format.

UPDATE (5/16/14): Giveaway’s over! Winner announced.


UPDATE (7/16/14): Watch the video below to hear what the “Critters” say about “I Am Otter” and a sneak peak at where she’s headed next! (Feel free to share it with friends!)

NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: If my ramblings convinced you to buy one or more of the books mentioned above, please support T.A.A. by clicking on the affiliate cover images above or links within the review(s).