The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems with illustrations by Tony DiTerlizzi is about a French dog with a home and not much sense of adventure and a French cat, Flea, who lives on the street and is very into adventure. And they become friends and have a positive impact on each other, and that's all very meaningful and nice.
Here's the reason I'm taken with this book. Diva belongs to a gardienne, Eva, who takes care of a building. Towards the end of the book, we see Eva's feet as she sweeps a floor. I thought, Sacre Bleu! That could be the concierge in The Elegance of the Hedgehog!!!
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery was an odd (the in the best sense of the word)
international bestseller from France around eight years ago. It had two main characters, a twelve-year-old girl who lived in an upscale building and Renee, the upscale building's concierge. Renee is quite fantastic, a nobody building maintenance worker who is also a French intellectual. Though no one knows it. Like Diva, she becomes friendly with someone quite different from herself. Or is he?
I must say, The Elegance of the Hedgehog includes an event that left some readers shaken. (I'm looking at you Sally Allen.) Still The Story of Diva and Flea and The Elegance of the Hedgehog could be companion books. Young readers could read Diva and Flea preparing themselves for the philosophy and shock of Hedgehog.
Yes, I recall that Renee was a cat person. But look at the cover of Diva and Flea. Diva is one of those fluffy little dogs that could pass for a cat.
My Goodreads post about Hedgehog from 2012.