Praise for The Problem with Pierre
'Engaging, charming, and tender'. -- Kirkus STARRED REVIEW
'What a heart-warming story of two loving and giving friends! This would make a nice readaloud for K-3 grades about inclusion, friendship and love'. -- Youth Services Book Reviews
'Young cat enthusiasts receive a warm lesson on friendship and compromise which is engagingly different'. -- Midwest Book Review
'A stylish picturebook with themes of compromise and friendship'. -- Books For Keeps
'A tale of friendship and cooperation illustrated in a lovely free-flowing style, full of colour'. -- Love Reading for Kids *Book of the Month*
The differences between Bertram and his neighbor Alan were never a problem until a fussy cat entered the equation!
Alan and Betram are next-door neighbors. They are also best friends. They are also very, very different to one another. Bertram is extremely neat, and Alan is wildly messy. When Bertram gets a cat, called Pierre, he is dismayed to find that Pierre prefers it at Alan’s house.
Alan tries to help his friend out – giving him his old sheepskin coat, his chipped bowl and finally, his beat up old sofa. At last, Pierre and Bertram are happy, but Alan is not – he has no company and no sofa. Fortunately, Bertram comes up with a brilliant solution to the problem…
The Problem With Pierre plays with the format of the book, returning to split spreads in which Bertram's neat-as-a-pin living room is on the left and Alan's homely chaos is on the right. When, at the end, Bertram knocks through the wall between the two houses, and puts the sofa in the middle, there is a coming together of content and format that is sure to delight readers young and old.
'Smouha writes straightforwardly and empathetically in this tale of a strong friendship between two dissimilar men who respect and care for each other. Text is set within white spaces in Hubbard’s bright, detailed cartoons, which vary among vignettes and single- and double-page spreads. Depicted only in the illustrations and never discussed, race is merely one aspect of the characters’ quirky, eccentric personalities. Readers will cheer the outcome and root for this odd couple’s continued contentment.
Engaging, charming, and tender'. -- Kirkus STARRED REVIEW
'What a heart-warming story of two loving and giving friends! This would make a nice readaloud for K-3 grades about inclusion, friendship and love. And maybe the nature of cats, as well.
The minimalist illustrations appear to be in watercolor, created in soft pastel tones, generally as two-page spreads. They are old-fashioned with a European feel, and reminiscent of Edward Ardizzone'. -- Youth Services Book Review
'The Problem with Pierre is an engaging picture book tale that tells of a cat and two neighbor friends who are very different.
Neighbor Bertram gets a cat, Pierre, who defies the neat, organized life Bertram has created for himself. Pierre also prefers friend and neighbor Alan's messy house. Bertram is not happy about either situation.
How can Alan and Bertram make both Pierre and themselves happy? A series of efforts and compromises brings the friends closer together in this whimsical story of a cat that changes those around him.
Young cat enthusiasts receive a warm lesson on friendship, compromise, and kitty care which is engagingly different'. -- Midwest Book Review
'This is a stylish picturebook with themes of compromise and friendship. There is gentle humour in the recognition that fickle felines frequently won’t conform to their owner’s expectations. The differing homes and lifestyles of the two friends are juxtaposed and brought into sharp contrast in some of the detailed double page spreads'. -- Books For Keeps
'It’s great to see a picture book that focuses on adult friendship (and a cat) – and in our time of enforced distance it’s a lovely, enchantedly illustrated tale'. -- The AOI
'A charming and heartwarming story about Alan and Bertram, who live net door to each other. Both seem to have something missing in their lives and are brought together in a clever ending - despite their differentt personalities - through Bertram's cat Pierre. There are lots of discussion points for KS1 and KS2 PSHE - how to compromise, how to respect each other's differences, and how to find happiness; and the simple and effective character descriptions are ideal to explore in KS1 literacy lessons. Art teachers will see lots of opportunities to inspire pastel work using the illustrations as an impetus'.-- School Reading List
'A lovely touching tale of friendship, happiness, and sorting things out so they are just right. And perfectly illustrated to show the personalities and feelings of the characters'.--It's All About Stories
'A tale of friendship and cooperation illustrated in a lovely free-flowing style, full of colour. The double spreads of the book illustrate the difference between the two friends – with the spick and span Bertram’s home on one side and the mess and disorganisation of Alan’s on the other! The comparisons will keep children studying the pictures for a long time. There is a great deal to see in all the spreads, and readers will enjoy the many different things they can pick out!' -- Love Reading for Kids
'This is a nice book that's easy to follow; it covers themes of friendship and compromise. The illustrations are beautifully detailed and there's lots to look at on every page. This is a nice short book, with enough of a story that it is interesting and charming to share at bedtime.
In the classroom, you could use it to discuss how friendships work even when people are different from each other, and how working together to find a solution can make everyone happy'.-- Reading Zone
'We all know how choosy cats can be and Pierre is no different. Though he belongs to neat Bertram, Pierre prefers the home of messy Alan, Bertram’s best friend and neighbour. Finding this to be hard, Bertram borrows all the items that Pierre seems to like best. It leaves messy Alan feeling lonely and the pair devise a plan to please everyone, including the cat! A charming story about finding happiness- stunning illustrations bring this happy story to life. Another delight by CK Smouha with illustrations by Suzanna Hubbard'. -- My Shelves Are Full
'Ooohhhh I have a new favourite picture book! Have just been sent a copy of this from @cicadabooks and it’s delightful - warm, amusing, gentle and lovely!' -- The Reading Realm
'An amiable tale of a tidy person and an untidy one; the tidy one gets a cat, who baffles his owner by preferring to curl up in the mess of his neighbour’s house. What can they do? Lovely, funny pictures that show the neat room on one side and the cheerful disorder of the other'. -- John Sandoe Books