The Cat In The Strawberry House OR The Dog Who Kept Books (Draft 1)

The following is a draft of a picture book that I’m working on. 

“Hello Cat, why Hello Cat,

In your Strawberry house

I say, I must say

You are nary larger than a mouse!”


“Well hey there, now who are you?”,

The Cat asked me,

As I appeared out of the blue.


“I am the wise Traveler,” I answered.

“I hail from the West.

I showed up because I heard that your fruity house was the best!”


“So I wonder, Cat,

Do you bake strawberry cakes?

Ice them on your frosty white roof,

And use the leftovers for shakes?”


“Speaking of roofs..

Did you know that you have a new neighbor who goes rrroofs?

His name is Bowser,

and he’s a Long-Haired Schnauzer.

This mutt lives in an Apricot hut,

At 1-7-2 Go Fetch! Avenue.”


“No”, replied Cat.

“I did not know he moved in.”

(The hair stood up on Cat’s chinny chin chin.)

“Gadzooks! Oh dear me!

Should I have the spooks?

Tell me, does Bowser even keep a collection of books?”


“We cats love to read..

Any story for our imagination to plant a seed.

But dogs.. NOT so!

They prefer a game of Tiddly Winks

Or Hot Pota-to.”


“Well Cat, I’m not sure,

I better pay him a visit.

I bet I’ll find him out by the hydrant,

If not I’ll just whiz it!”


“Goodbye,” said Cat.

And the wise Traveler was on his way..

The hills he pranced

Glistened like a bale of golden hay, that fine day.


As he arrived at the Apricot hut,

Nobody was home.

Not Bowser the mutt.


“Now where could he be?”

In my head,

I said to me;

When out from behind a tree,

Stepped Bowser, with a cup of tea.


“Rrroof rrroof!

Welcome friend.

Why don’t you come in the house,

And see the Ostrich

With the polka-dot blouse?”


“Yes, you’re invited inside!

We can play Fetch, Seek, and then Hide.”

We can even play See-Saw with my paw

On the dog house slide!”


“Now come on in, dear Traveler,

And help yourself to the tea and marmalade,

Before all the ants in the neighborhood

Go on parade.”


“Why, thank you,”

I said to Bowser,

The Long-Haired Schnauzer.


Into the hut he went,

And they sat down for tea,

The Traveler, Bowser, and the Ostrich

Made three.


“Dog, I thank you for being so kind.

But I do have a question,

If you don’t mind.”


“The tea and marmalade

Were quite delicious,

But all the gizmos and gadgets ’round here

Make me suspicious!

Before I embark on further inspection,

Please let me know,

Do you keep a reading collection?”

To Be Continued..

Pencil sketch rough draft of page one. Illustrated by: Lisa Ellen Goodman
Pencil sketch rough draft of page one. Illustrated by: Lisa Ellen Goodman

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