• Picture Book Snob

An unconventional canine with a heart of gold

Rose the Cat-Dog by Todd Albert and Sirma Karaguiozova


Rose the Cat-Dog is one of those rare stories about a pet that will appeal to readers outside the family to whom the main character belongs. We learn about Rose’s journey from a cruel breeder’s cage to her comfortable and loving forever home. We see how her behaviour is more feline than canine and understand why she might be more timid than the average dog. Next, we discover what happens when a new baby arrives and we witness Rose’s entertaining and endearing adjustment to her human sister.

Despite being firmly a cat family, my kids and I enjoyed all of Rose’s antics. The first time we read it, when we got to the end, my four-year-old told her big sister, “See, I told you dogs were cute!" The eldest responded with, "I loved it, can we read it again?" Both kids are fascinated with babies at the moment and are delighted to see so much of Rose’s new human sister in the story too. Their favourite illustration is of Rose with all her canine siblings. They love picking Rose out of the crowd in this scene as well as spotting all the photos of the 'real' Rose scattered throughout the book. When we sit down with it, my kids discuss Rose and her human sister all the way through.

This story highlights the importance of adopting pets from shelters and not purchasing from breeders who may not have animals' best interests at heart. It’s sweet and moving with a memorable main character and lively illustrations. There's a powerful message about being yourself and not changing because you think it will make others happy. Trying to act like other dogs causes problems for Rose until she embraces her more cat-like traits.

Rose the Cat-Dog was published in May 2021 and is available from Amazon. With more text than the average picture book, it’s best suited to age 4+, although younger children will enjoy looking at Rose and the baby. Congratulations to Todd Albert on this charming debut and to Sirma Karaguiozova on her lovely accompanying illustrations. A huge thanks to Todd Albert for sending us a gift of this book – all opinions expressed are our own.