Author: Sieglinde C. Othmer PhD.

Illustrator: Clare Rosean

ISBN: 978-1-4759-6141-5

This show will have seven acts and no intermission. So if you need to excuse yourself for necessary things, please to do it now! You’ve got five minutes!” Mr. Guinness explains to the crowd of animals in Sieglinde C. Othmer’s book, Whims, Wits, and Whiskers – A Californian Pet Tale.

At one hundred and thirty-eight pages, this hardbound book is a tome about bored family pet animals who want to do something more with their dull, predictable lives. If not for a few slang words such as fart, darn and hell, the book would be nicely targeted toward young readers or make a fun, adventurous bedtime story. The beginning has a helpful list of animal characters and the ending includes a glossary of British and French words, their pronunciation and description. There are only a few pencil illustrations by artist Clare Rosean with grainy plant drawings relating to the story.

Mr. Guinness, the in-control of everyone and everything Labrador / Pit Bull decides to stay home from work one day with his two female charges, Lexi the Shih Tzu and Rosie the Terrier. Coaxing them to do something more than watch television and sleep all day, he challenges the girls to card games including poker. But to no avail, they tire and get bored easily, begging Mr. Guinness to come up with something more exciting.

When cousin dogs Bailey, another Lab, and George, an irreverent Beagle/Basset hound come for a visit, the five try to come up with something fun to do. Miles and Cosmo, two French cats with attitudes warily show up, encouraging the dogs to do something unique and creative.

After hummingbirds teach the cousins how to make up a song and sing it, the animals decide to do a production and take their program on tour. They group together and work hard on each of their artistic parts. Their owner flies them to Kansas City, Missouri, in his sea plane, where Aunt Jetta, a Blue Heeler, helps provide the audience and locale for their seven part play.

With so many different animals’ personalities and characters, the reader is quickly engaged in the silliness, creativity and thoughtfulness that the cousins have for one another and their mammal friends. Having a successful stage presence with a fun-filled participating audience leaves all the animals wanting to take the show around the world with the help of Condor. This is a fun, easy to read book with only one sad ending but lots of charm and the reiteration that working together accomplishes goals


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