Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Hondo & Fabian
Hondo & Fabian
Other title(s):
Hondo and Fabian








First edition.
New York : Henry Holt, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Art techniques used: Soft and delicately blended color pencil drawing in muted tones.
Hondo the dog gets to go to the beach and play with his friend Fred, while Fabian the cat spends the day at home.
Program Information:
58830. Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.2 0.5.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.4 1.0 32902.


Call Number

On Order



Hondo the dog has a fun day at the beach while Fabian the cat stays home.

" Wake up, Hondo. Time to go!"
Hondo will have an adventure.
Fabian will stay home.

A dog named Hondo and his friend Fred are going to the beach for a day of excitement. Fabian the cat is left behind at home to play with the baby. Who will cause more trouble? And who will have more fun?

Peter McCarty's exquisite illustrations and understated wit turn an ordinary day in the lives of two pets into a rare delight.

Hondo and Fabian is a 2002 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and Notable Children's Book of the Year, and a 2003 Caldecott Honor Book.

Author Notes

Peter McCarty is the author and illustrator of T Is for Terrible , Little Bunny on the Move, Baby Steps , and has illustrated several other books including, Night Driving and Frozen Man . He lives with his wife, daughter, and son in Upstate New York.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-Hondo the dog and Fabian the cat are friends in this Caldecott Honor book by Peter McCarty (Holt, 2002). It is the story of the day Hondo went to the beach and Fabian stayed home. Instrumental music accompanies the spare words and soft, grayed out art in this iconographic offering. Minimal animation is added to the economical pencil on watercolor paper art. But few words and few details are needed to tell this warm, fuzzy story of a dog and a cat who share their home with each other and with their people. Young children, with or without family pets, will respond with a sigh of pleasure at this story about friendship and family.-Marilyn Hersh, Hillside Elementary School, Farmington Hills, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

An amiable showcase for McCarty's (Little Bunny on the Move) distinctive pencil art, this day-in-the-life tale centers on a dog and cat who live with a family, the only member of which readers see is a cherubic toddler referred to as "the baby." The plot is not long on action: pooch Hondo climbs into the family car (its vintage sets the tale in the 1930s or '40s) and travels to the beach, where he romps with a canine pal. Feline Fabian stays at home "to play with the baby." As the dogs "dive in the waves," the cat "dives for the door" (trying to escape the youngster's clutches). These quiet contrasts end with the winding down of the day: the dog's return, when he and the cat eat dinner from their respective bowls and, "full and fat," retire to their favorite resting spots. The minimalist narrative sets off the richness of the pictures, viewed as if through a scrim. Colors soften to a candlelit palette, enhancing the warm, nostalgic mood for an effect at once ingenuous and sophisticated. Ages 3-9. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Hondo the dogÆs adventures at the beach and Fabian the catÆs experiences at home are juxtaposed in a simple, quiet tale of a day in the life of two pets. While lacking drama, the narrative exudes a pleasant familiarity. Softly blurred colored-pencil illustrations are accompanied by brief text suitable for young listeners as well as beginning readers. From HORN BOOK Fall 2002, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Sepia-toned, subtly textured pencil drawings on cream-colored paper give this pet's-eye view of a day's adventures an air of polished, if slightly distant, elegance. Hondo the dog and Fabian the cat rise from their favorite snoozing spots to go in different directions: Hondo, to play on the beach with a furry friend; Fabian, to escape a toddler's clutches, and later to unroll some toilet paper. Both show unusual restraint-this may present a credibility problem for pet-owners-in passing up, respectively, a tempting bucket of just-caught fish, and a turkey sandwich, but after Hondo's return the two chow down from side-by-side pet dishes, then it's off to slumberland once again. Captioned by a very brief, present-tense text that passes the point of view back and forth, the illustrations convey a feeling of comfortable interspecies amiability more akin to Steven Kellogg's A Rose for Pinkerton (1981) than Donald Hall's I Am the Dog, I Am the Cat (1994). (Picture book. 5-8)

Booklist Review

Ages 3-5. Hondo is a dog, and Fabian is a cat. As the family pets, they get along just fine, but their lives are quite different. Hondo gets to go to the beach; Fabian has to stay home, though he still manages to have some fun. Little ones will enjoy following Hondo as he runs through the waves, and Fabian, who makes his own good times by playing with the little girl of the house and unrolling the toilet paper. McCarty's staccato text, one line to a page, captures a lot of action in a few words, but it is the pencil-on-watercolor-paper art that makes this so arresting. Each carefully shaded picture, in muted tones, has a smooth, solid look that is quite different from the art seen in numerous other picture books, where cartoons often reign supreme. The pictures here are sophisticated by comparison, but they have just as much child appeal as more raucous artwork. In addition, the message about making fun where one finds it is worth hearing. --Ilene Cooper