Katt VS. Dogg

Ages: 8 - 12Producer: Hachette Audio Narrator: Marc ThompsonAuthor: Chris Grabenstein, James Patterson


Do you love dogs? Or are you more of a cat person? You can’t be both – right? That’s the moral to the 4.5-hour audio story from James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. Katt vs. Dogg is a tale of a dog family and a cat family whose children – Molly the cat and Oscar the dog — wind up lost in the wilderness together while the families are on vacation. Dog and cat must work together to find their way back. Think: The Wizard of Oz meets The Adventures of Milo and Otis.

Meanwhile, the media (in the form of a ferret who has a New York accent and is all about ratings) is building up the story of the missing purrrfectly mismatched duo by pitting them against each other. “We’re cats. Hating dogs is what we do,” says Mom Katt in a British whisper. The insults fly between the two families from the start, mostly pun-filled digs about hairballs, litter boxes and dog farts. They’re a bit harsh. Every stereotype of cat and dog behavior is amplified; dogs are big-hearted but dimwitted, while cats are cleaner, but snootier.

Over-the-top expressive voices are littered throughout the 63-chapter (most are under five minutes) audio book, thanks to narrator Marc Thompson — who voices many characters, from Fifi the teen girl dog who sounds, like, um, a total Valley Girl pooch to Molly’s father, the Big Daddy Cat who sounds like a rich snob, their families, and several characters Molly and Oscar meet along their quest to get home.

It’s easy to see the amusing tale as a giant metaphor for our country and our politics right now. Can we stop all the name-calling and hateful divisiveness in our society and try to live in peace? Spoiler alert: In the end, Molly and Oscar become best friends. If only the Democats and Republidogs in the U.S.A. could do the same.

Ann Oldenburg ©2019 Parents’ Choice

Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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