Book Review: Winnie and Waldorf by Kati Hites

by DerdriuMarriner

Winnie and Waldorf, a debut children's book by first-time author/illustrator Kati Hites, draws upon the artist/writer's experiences with her adventurous, best canine friend Matyi.

Bulldogs form loving, loyal, tolerant bonds with children:

Happily domesticated and wildly friendly animals always appear on BFF lists of a child’s or a grown-up’s best friends forever. The picture book Winnie and Waldorf therefore brings forth memories of a child and a dog growing up together through the interactions between and ensuing series of mishaps regarding:
• a misadventure-making bulldog named Waldorf;
• a mischief-minded younger sister named nicknamed Winnie; and
• a music-motivated older sister named Sara.

It begins with Waldorf and Winnie hiding under a fancy table set in anticipation of Sara’s upcoming violin concert. Winnie concentrates so much on keeping the two friends current of the comings and goings that she does not hear Waldorf’s snores or see his closed eyes and relaxed body.

*****

Website: http://www.winnieandwaldorf.com/

*****

Winnie & Waldorf features a bulldog, a popular canine with an endearing wrinkled face and pushed-in nose which captivate children.

English bulldog puppy
English bulldog puppy

Bulldogs go whenever, wherever children want them to

 

Winnie delights in playing such games and pursuing such activities with her favorite bulldog as:

  • donning extreme weather boots, coats, and hats to enjoy raindrops irrigating the garden;
  • fishing;
  • going for rides in swivel chairs;
  • hunkering down with green frogs;
  • interacting with pigeons;
  • painting portraits;
  • reading;
  • sharing bath times;
  • singing duets;
  • smelling potted flowering plants;  
  • sorting garbage; and 
  • wearing costumes and make-up for dramatic representations before an audience of none.

She experiences great joy in being able to see to Waldorf’s food and water bowls. She feels that she is the more responsible of the two since they switch sleeping places when he falls asleep on her bed. The two friends nevertheless get each other into trouble. 

 

In Kati Hites' debut picture book, Waldorf the bulldog falls asleep wherever is convenient: on Winnie's bed, on the floor, on the sofa, under a table.

English bulldog sleep
English bulldog sleep

Bulldogs have lifespans of 8 to 10 years

 

Sara has a sign posted on her bedroom door to keep Waldorf and Winnie out. She is not unfriendly, merely cautious about such cherished possessions as:

  • china hippopotamus and unicorn;
  • glass of treats;
  • music scores;
  • photographs; and
  • violin.

But Waldorf joins Winnie in invading Sara’s bedroom. 

The two friends know no limits in disrespecting another’s privacy by:

  • emptying clothing drawers and mixing previously matched socks to play at hand puppetry;
  • going through Sara’s desk to use music and school papers for drawing; and
  • leaving paint and paw prints on the beautiful hardwood floor.

They lose all caution in playing at hide-and-seek and overnight-camping with Sara’s bedding. In the process, Waldorf manages to get a violin string broken. 

 

Winnie's and Waldorf's misadventures include a broken string on older sister Sara's violin, which, fortunately, was not a Stradivarius.

c. 1687 Spanish Stradivarius IIon exhibit at Palacio Real de Madrid
c. 1687 Spanish Stradivarius IIon exhibit at Palacio Real de Madrid

Bulldogs inspire healthy diets, exercises, habits, and hygiene

 

Damage and disrespect nudge Sara into emotional realms counterproductive to imminent performances. Sara nevertheless opts to go on with the show after her mother repairs the violin. But the sight of Waldorf and Winnie provokes temporary stage fright until the clumsy bulldog makes a mad dash for his favorite cupcakes.

Everyone questions how Sara will react until the violinist belly-laughs, dominates nervousness, and plays perfectly. Sara and her family resolve afterward to respect Waldorf’s role as a family member by rewarding him with both cupcake and doggie treats. So Kati’s story about Winnie and Waldorf shows pre-schoolers to third-graders aged 4 to 8 years and beyond the give-and-take in loving relationships between animals and their domesticated families. 

 

Winnie & Waldorf by Kati Hites ~ available via Amazon

In this hilarious story full of sweet illustrations, Kati Hites brings to life the charming relationship and friendship between Winnie and Waldorf, which will have young readers laughing out loud at every page.
Kati Hites stories

Acknowledgment

 

My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.

 

 

Waldorf the bulldog not only relishes doggie treats but also finds cupcakes completely irresistible.

pink cupcakes: strawberry
pink cupcakes: strawberry

Sources Consulted

 

Hites, Kati, 2015. Winnie and Waldorf. New York, NY: HarperCollins Children's Books. 

 

Bulldogs such as Waldorf in Kati Hites' debut picture book are favorite canine friends for children, who receive adoring looks from the winsome breed's earnest eyes.

Peaches at 10 weeks, Alamo Square, San Francisco, California
Peaches at 10 weeks, Alamo Square, San Francisco, California
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Colorful bulldog: blue t-shirt ~ available via AllPosters

Colorful Bulldog
Ad AllPosters

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 03/18/2015, DerdriuMarriner
 
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