Sunday, January 12, 2014

[BOOK REVIEW] Caleb and Kate by William Steig

Title:  Caleb and Kate

Author:  William Steig

Genre: Romance / Animals / Magic

Year Published: 1977

Year Read:  1993

Publisher: Square Fish

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 6+  (One Intense Scene Involving Burglary and Domestic Tensions) 

“Caleb and Kate” is one of William Steig’s most touching and intense books about how love can conquer any obstacle in life. The story of how the couple dealt with almost being separated from each other, due from a magic spell, is one of the most popular forms of fairy tales ever created.

“Caleb and Kate” is an extremely dramatic love story from the creative mind of William Steig. William Steig shows that even though Caleb and Kate fought with each other most of the time, their love for each other has mysteriously broke the spell over Caleb and the couple reunite with each other with more passion than before. William Steig has specialty with illustrating the forests in each of his stories with luscious colors. “Caleb and Kate” is no exception with the forests contrasting in color as the forests are light during the day and are dark during the night.

The two things that I find wrong with this book is that the story tends to be longer than any other children’s book I have read and that there are many words in the book that young children would not understand. The story tends to stretch out more than it needs to such as, the scene where Caleb is playing with the other dogs, when the focus of the story is actually in Caleb trying to tell his wife that he is her long lost husband that she is trying to find. Also, William Steig has been known to use advanced vocabulary in his books, even though they are aimed at children. The words that many young children would find hard to understand are “odious,” “cantankerous,” and “avidly.” Parents should take some time to explain the advanced vocabulary to their children so that the children would understand the book better.

“Caleb and Kate” explains about how love manages to bring two quarreling couples back together after Caleb has been transformed into a dog. Even though Caleb was threatened with the idea of spending the rest of his life as a dog, he still did not give up on the love that he shares with Kate and tries to be by her side at all times. This book is the perfect love story for young children and adults would also love this book as well for its theme about love conquering anything.

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