Eugene and Tommy Cat with a Fishy Story: The Bear Facts


30 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-895292-07-7
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by David M. Kelly

David M. Kelly is a teaching assistant at Brock University in St.


The first in a continuing series, this book deals with the escapades of
a gangling, easygoing yellow dog named Eugene and his long-suffering
sidekick, a black cat named Tommy. The unlikely couple’s camping trip
is interrupted by an aggressively curious bruin. Though the trip is
ruined, no one suffers permanent trauma as both sides are driven into

Written for a juvenile audience, the series is basically a collection
of picture books with very little narrative. Akland’s style is highly
reminiscent of the slapstick cartoons of the 1920s and 1930s, including
Krazy Kat, Felix, and the (very) early Disney characters. The inside
covers promise the future arrival of such notable friends as Cissy Cat,
Trixie Doggy, Jakk Rabbit, Leonardo Lizard, and a couple of token human
kids, Kathe Kute and Wee Bertramm.

This book is meant to be fun, pure and simple. I can perceive no
intrinsic social messages or subtle moral lessons. While conceivably a
few groups may object to the slapstick violence, the overall effect is
harmless; the younger audience for whom Akland is writing will probably
get a laugh or two out of it. Its unique style among Canadian
children’s literature is alone sufficient to recommend it.


Akland, Tina Louise., “Eugene and Tommy Cat with a Fishy Story: The Bear Facts,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,