Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Won Ton & Chopstick–A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku

by | Mar 12, 2015 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 2 comments

WonTonI rarely write book reviews on my blog, and even more rarely mention children’s books (so no…please don’t ask 🙂 ). But today I must make an exception for a colleague and friend, because the books are just THAT GOOD!

A couple of years ago, I was sent a review copy of WON TON: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku when the book first launched in 2011. I don’t have kids (other than furry ones with four paws), but was so impressed I wrote a glowing 5-star review for–at the time I was the contributing writer for cat behavior topics. This book is a moving, powerful story of one cat’s adoption, told through the “voice” of a shelter cat. The gorgeous illustrations by Eugene Yelchin perfectly capture the cat’s perspective of shelter life, car ride to new home, and experiences adjusting to his adoptive family:

Nice place they got here.
Bed. Bowl. Blankie.
Just like home!
Or so I’ve been told.

Lee Wardlaw writes the text in senryu, a form of Japanese poetry similar to Haiku, which gives the cat’s tale a playful, poignant or humorous tone. The cat pretends not to care about being adopted, yet of course yearns for a forever home. Please, Boy, pick me. And once chosen and named Won Ton, the cautious cat must learn to trust enough to share his real name, and heart.

WonTonChopstickNow the SEQUEL will be published on sale March 17, 2015. I have been waiting for this–it’s a subject very close to my heart, and addresses introducing new pets to resident ones–in this case a new puppy to the cat. Y’all know that my own book ComPETability: Solving Behavior Problems in Your Cat-Dog Household offers some prescriptive advice to prevent or solve issues.

But this new delightful book is perfect for parents and kids. WON TON and CHOPSTICK, A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku offers the cat’s perspective when faced with a (hiss!) interloper.

Lee asked her publisher to send me an advanced reader’s edition and I will treasure this–it is everything I hoped and more. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! Won Ton has a happy life with his boy, until. . .

Ears perk. Fur prickles.
Belly low, I creep . . . peek . . . FREEZE!
My eyes full of Doom.

Both of these lovely books belong in every cat lover’s library, especially when you have children. The first book WON TON humorously educates children to basic cat behaviors and emotions, teaches empathy, and celebrates the gift of saving a life, while offering a snapshot of a shelter cat’s journey from a cage to finally embracing his new life and family with trust and love.

The second book WON TON and CHOPSTICK continues the “tail” with glee, humor and gentle insight of how resident pets feel about new pets puthimoutputhimoutputhimout but how with care all can be respected and learn to accept each other….

I shall call you…Friend.

I would love to send these books home with every new pet adoption. I cannot recommend these books highly enough.

YouTube Button

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!


  1. Brenda

    Those sound darling! I hadn’t heard of it and I’ll check it out! Sounds like our Wilde Oscar would be happy to know an already resident cat’s tale is being told too. (He till feels Samantha as a burden from time to time!)

    I’m disappointed you won’t occasionally comment on books! (And, yes, we have one too — DEAR LUCKY: LETTERS TO OUR CAT, our rescue cat’s story as charmingly told by my husband with the pictures I took.)

    I love the illustrations I see in WON TON & CHOPSTICK and WON TON. I”ll have to check out all that illustrator’s books as well!

    • Amy Shojai

      Hi Brenda,

      It’s not that I don’t WANT to comment on books–there just ain’t enough time, and my boss makes me concentrate on writing my own rather than reading/commenting on others. (mean boss! LOL!)


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recent Posts

New Year Book Bundle: 7 Hardcover Thrillers, Anyone?

Enter for a chance to WIN all 7 September & Shadow Thrillers–in hardcover.

Yes, you can purchase them from my bookstore at a discount. But you can enter the giveaway contest for free, and then “gift” the paw-tographed books to yourself–or someone who loves pet-centric stories.

The more you share the contest, the greater your chance to win. Fill out the form, and start sharing. Good luck!

Update on Cyprus Cats: New FIP Strain Identified

This past summer I reported on the apparent FIP outbreak among cats on the island of Cyprus. As thousands of cats quickly sickened and died from signs of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), experts puzzled over why. While the feline-specific illness tragically kills most infected cats (if not given expensive hard-to-access treatment), pockets of “outbreaks” had previously been limited to handfuls of cats in cattery or shelter population.

But in Cyprus, things changed. Here’s the update…stranger than fiction, but true.

How To Give Pets As Gifts

Giving pets as gifts prompts discussions every time the subject comes up. Most recently, we got our “gift puppy” and “gift kitten” when they adopted us, and we’re so glad Karma-Kat and Shadow-Pup are part of our holidays. But for many folks, this year means a new puppy or new kitten for Christmas. Learn how to gift pets–and please share your experiences in the comments!

The professionals used to say that the holidays were a TERRIBLE time to get a new pet–that impulse adoptions could leave the cat or dog without a home after the cute-holiday-thrills wore off. More recently, though, the ASPCA conducted some surveys and discovered that when done properly, these adoptions can be lasting, loving adoptions. So I had to re-think my advice.

Holidays tend to be hectic times when normal routines go out the window. Whether a baby, adult, or senior rescue cat or dog, new animals need the stability of knowing what to expect. In fact, some holiday schedules may allow you to be home more during this time to help the new kitty or pooch adjust.

Holiday pets take more work, true. But just think: you’re not only giving the pet to a person—you’re giving a special human to a waiting cat or dog, a fur-kid hungry for a loving, permanent home. Happy holidays, indeed!

Mystery Canine Respiratory Disease? What We Know

Each fall and winter heralds a rise in respiratory illnesses in people–and also in dogs. Like humans, dogs can contract a number of hacking, wheezing, coughing, yucky illnesses that make them feel bad. Canine respiratory diseases get lumped together as canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC). These are a constellation of different illnesses resulting from viral, fungal, or bacterial infections.

One of the most common, kennel cough, spreads easily from dog to dog. It gets its name because dogs housed closely together in kennels, boarding facilities, shelters, and similar places provide the perfect transmission opportunity. But recently, an apparent increase in dog respiratory disease has owners, and many vets concerned.

13 Pet Holiday Dangers to Avoid: How to Keep Cats & Dogs Safe

I write about pet holiday dangers every year. This listicle (and a fun infographic at the bottom) offers more than a dozen problems. I’ve included links to more detailed information for those wanting a deeper dive on all the must-knows for pet holiday safety!

Merry Cat-Mas & Doggy Ho-Ho-Ho! Here’s How to Create a Tree for the Pets

Have you decked the halls yet with your howl-iday decor? What do the pets think? Have they joined in the spirit of ho-ho-ho and wreaked havoc? Or do they ignore the festivities?

The Christmas tree might as well be an early holiday gift to your cats and dogs. Pets can’t resist the urge to sniff, claw, water—and scale the branches to reach the highest possible perch. Don’t blame your cat or dog. It’s normal for cats to compete for the top spot (literally and figuratively) to secure their place in kitty society, and dogs may want to “mark” the convenient indoor doggy signpost.

Protect your precious memories by pet-proofing to prevent breakage (yes, this happened to me!) And give your pets something “legal” to enjoy. Here’s how to create pet safe holiday fun for cats and dogs.

Playing Around…in SISTER ACT Musical!

From time to time, I’m blessed to participate in the local community theater productions. Sometimes, that means playing cello or keyboard in the loft, and other times, onstage. This month, I’m “playing around” as Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours, a nun in SISTER ACT musical. We open Friday December 1 and run three weekends (Thursday-Sunday matinee) through December 17th.

Cat Books Sale: “When you get a cat, there should be 4 requirements by law:

I was born to love pets & spread JOY! My books bring smiles, save lives, and reduce vet bills. So I put ALL MY CAT BOOKS ON SALE…cuz maybe you’ll want to “adopt” more of my 35+ award-winning pet books or share the purr-fect love with other pet lovers.

You can get ’em for full price on Amazon, BUT…

Dog Books Sale: “One of the best I have read…”

I was born to love pets & spread JOY! My books bring smiles, save lives, and reduce vet bills. So I put ALL MY DOG BOOKS ON SALE…cuz maybe you’ll want to “adopt” more of my 35+ award-winning pet books or share the purr-fect love with other pet lovers.

You can get ’em for full price on Amazon, BUT…

Counting Thanksgiving Blessings, the Pet Writer Way in 2023

Time for my annual Count My Blessings post. The past year has meant change, change, and more change, and that’s good and also challenging. But some things never change…I’m thankful to you—yes, those who read this blog, the cat book lovers, and the dog book lovers, and folks who have “adopted” my thriller series. And those who offered awesome applause and support any of the other venues mentioned…

Visit Amy's Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to