BookTrib review by Julianna Goldfluss

What is better than the love of a cat? Pets provide some of our strongest and most meaningful relationships in life. They love us unconditionally and see us through our best and worst moments. They are our best friends, and Buddy the cat was no exception. Dyanna Morrison, self-described as a lifelong lover of cats, immortalizes her furry friend in For the Love of Buddy, a new story that explores the rich relationship between pet and owner. Through a variety of rhyme schemes and bright cartoony illustrations by Mike Motz, Morrison starts at the very beginning, when Buddy was born, on a snowy night. She instantly felt a connection to the kitten, and their lives became intertwined for the next 17 years.

The rhyme scheme moves the story along swiftly and endows the story with a playful sweetness that is perfectly suited to a precocious cat. We follow the author and Buddy as they move and make their home in several places across the country from Providence, Rhode Island to San Diego, always finding the joy and seeking out new activities. Buddy goes through multiple periods of ill health, but is always cared for with the utmost devotion. The phrase “All for the Love of Buddy” appears repeatedly on the page, reiterating the title and likely suggesting the author’s motive for writing the story. 

This story is perfect for families and children who are cat lovers, those who currently share their lives with a cat, those who want to bring a cat into their lives, or those who have recently said goodbye to their own beloved kitty. As with all pets, they eventually pass away, a hard truth that this book does not shy away from. Instead, Morrison tries to take the sadness and grief and put it in a different light, one that is grateful for the many happy years spent with her furry best friend. The book ends on a joyful note, emphasizing the love the author will always have for Buddy. The illustrations are filled with fun objects that children will love to identify, adding depth to the large images, as well as creating an anthropomorphized version of Buddy who is larger than life with a personality to match!

For the Love of Buddy is a heartfelt story that leans into the specificity of the story, which in turn makes it more relatable to readers. Animal lovers will see their own furry companions in Buddy, and can celebrate the sanctity of the devotion that only exists between pets and their humans.