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Dolores Meets Her Match    by Barbara Samuels order for
Dolores Meets Her Match
by Barbara Samuels
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2007 (2007)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Barbara Samuels has created a new book in her series starring the ever charming Dolores. A competition ensues between Dolores and Hillary, the new girl in town, over their cats. Previously, Dolores had the market on cats, but suddenly, Hillary's cat Harold seems more talented and more pedigreed than her own cat, Duncan. Harold can even say Meow seven different ways! Both Harold and Hillary steal Duncan's and Dolores' thunder.

Despite Dolores' sister's constant advice to 'let Duncan be Duncan,' Dolores frantically tries to turn Duncan into a new and improved version of himself. When the two cats come to school for show and tell, the fur really begins to fly when Hillary's papier-mache maze backfires. Dolores learns to appreciate Duncan for who he is. Ultimately, Dolores and Hillary join forces to create the best cat school in town: Hillary demonstrates the grooming salon on Harold, while Duncan demonstrates his relaxation techniques.

Dolores learns an important lesson:
'"I've decided to let Duncan be Duncan."
"That's good," said Faye.
"And let Harold be Harold," said Dolores.
"Great," said Faye.
"And even let Hillary be Hillary," said Dolores. "Because, you have to admit, Faye, together we are truly amazing!

Fans of the Dolores series will appreciate the ebullient, whimsical drawings. The fun is in the details, and children will enjoy looking closely at the pictures and studying all the little extras. Note that Dolores and her cat were first featured in a 1996 book by Samuels, aptly entitled, Duncan and Dolores.

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