Cover image for Daring Dog and Captain Cat
Daring Dog and Captain Cat
Adoff, Arnold.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Although they are normal and obedient pets during the day, at night Irving Dog and Ermine Cat rise and shake and roam as Daring Dog and Captain Cat, twirling capes and flashing swords and chasing crooks.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 53906.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.5 2 Quiz: 33224 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Although they are normal and obedient pets during the day, at night Irving Dog and Ermine Cat rise and shake and roam as Daring Dog and Captain Cat, twirling capes and flashing swords and chasing crooks.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. When children are "kissed and tucked and sleeping for the night," Irving Dog and Ermine Cat become the team of Daring Dog and Captain Cat who "save the day or save the night like human heroes in the story books our children read." In his "shaped speech" writing style--the text is laid out like a poem, and words are run together or broken apart for dramatic effect--Adoff's tale about nighttime feats of high adventure and derring-do is told with flourish and flair that demand a robust read-aloud recitation. Featuring a generous number of double spreads that show wide-screen shots of the action, Cepeda's vibrantly colored oil paintings amplify the punch of Adoff's words and resonate with the verve that is to be expected from the illustrator of Nappy Hair (1997) and What a Truly Cool World (1999). A delightful domestic swashbuckler. --Annie Ayres

Publisher's Weekly Review

Free verse, frozen into solid blocks of text, enriches this story of double lives. By day, a docile blue dog is called Irving, and a calm brown cat answers to Ermine. "Our Children Give Us Those Names," the animals announce in tandem. "But We Do Not Have Those Names/ Inside/ Our/ Dog/ And/ Cat/ Heads." After their masters go to bed, they become the swashbuckling Daring Dog and Captain Cat, caroming about the house: "We Move So Fast/ We Flash/ .../ Like Human/ Heroes In/ The Story/ Books Our/ Children/ Read." Cepeda (Mice and Beans, reviewed Sept. 17) pictures the protagonists in billowing capes and plumed hats, brandishing swords and toppling furniture in pursuit of "Rat/ Faced/ Crooks." In layered oil paintings, he spackles ochre, foam green and pale violet on a shadowy undercoating of chocolate, evergreen and midnight blue. Adoff (Touch the Poem) alters reading speed and comprehension by capitalizing every word, varying the leading between letters and arranging words in eccentric groups. His synchronized narrators don't use language the way people do, although they "Always/ Come/ With/ Out/ Fail" when hailed as Irving and Ermine. Youngsters will appreciate the covert proceedings: while the images tell a breezy tale of carousing, the experimental poetry implies that ordinary pets harbor hidden personas. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-"Irving Dog" and "Ermine Cat" do not have those names inside their "Dog/And/Cat/Heads." They love the children of the house, who are oblivious to their pets' late-night antics, when they become "Daring Dog" and "Captain Cat," who "Can/Ride To/Right A Wrong Or/Wrong A Right/Can/Save The Day/Or/Save The Night-." Adoff's free verse dashes and leaps across the page and tongue, much like animals chasing shadows through a house at night. Cepeda's full-spread oil illustrations in vibrant colors picture the pair in swashbuckling outfits, chasing a mouse through the kitchen, knocking over a lamp, and falling exhausted on the floor. Their children find them, never suspecting that they've been protected all night by this dynamic duo. Readers will be drawn in by the illustrations and the dramatic, comic-booklike cover. If they are unfamiliar with poetry, they may find it hard to get involved with Adoff's text, which needs to be read aloud, and which is mostly description and little plot. The pace is quick but intricate, not at all like the traditional picture-book story line readers might expect. Persistent readers will be satisfied, however, and may find themselves wondering what their own pets get up to when the lights go out. A good choice for storytime or for Dav Pilkey or James Marshall fans who are willing to try something slightly different.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.