Gizmo and Scatz: A Tail of Friendship


Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 11 Price: (paperback) $17.55 ISBN: 9781467882675 Reviewed: October, 2012 Author Website: Visit »

Gizmo & Scatz: A Tail of Friendship is a wonderfully illustrated storybook about a dog and a cat. Written by Jazz, a former children’s librarian, illustrated by Lyn Stone and published in Jazz’s memory by the Jazz Foundation Trust, the book celebrates unlikely friendships and the magic of individual uniqueness.

Gizmo is a big, brown, hound-like dog with a long nose and happy, curious eyes. He shares his home with Scatz, a gray cat that is terrified of him. Gizmo barks constantly. When dinnertime arrives, Gizmo eats all of his food and Scatz’s, too. After he’s finished eating, he loves nothing more than to chase poor Scatz around the house. As a result, the cat spends an inordinate amount of time running away from Gizmo and hiding in trees.

Things begin to change one stormy afternoon when Gizmo and Scatz discover they are both afraid of thunder. Together they run upstairs and cuddle under the bed, comforting each other and keeping one another company until the scary storm passes. The pets realize they share something essential. Soon they are friends, happily eating out of the same bowl.

Stone’s illustrations bring Gizmo & Scatz to vibrant life. Her work is expressive and loving, and she has created characters with goofy charm. Each drawing is filled with detail, movement and affection. Jazz’s text is less accomplished: slim, without much emotional complexity or depth. The rhymes feel pedestrian (“tree”/“loudly,” “hide”/“side”), and as a result the book lacks a dash of surprising lyricism. Also, the calendar layout of the book, with the spine at the top, feels odd; one wishes it were in a more traditional format. Nonetheless, readers will be happy to meet the colorful pair of Gizmo and Scatz.

Author's Current Residence
Great Britain
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