A book with recipes that's illustrated with colorful, comical critters, and that includes section names like Lick Your Chops and Desserts to Drool For, is called a hoot.
But that's not the only reason to fetch ''Paws to Celebrate,'' compiled by members of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society Auxiliary. The book benefits the humane society, and includes about 525 recipes from auxiliary members, Birmingham-area chefs and veterinarians and nationally-known celebrities.
''The love of cooking and love of animals comes together,'' says cookbook co-chairwoman Jamie Preston.
The book's Top Dog section includes recipes from animal-loving celebrities such as Betty White, Doris Day and Tippi Hedren, whose recipe, ''Marnie's Red Velvet Cake,'' alludes to her role in the 1964 Alfred Hitchcock film ''Marnie.'' Johnnie Mickens, grandmother to NBA star Charles Barkley, contributed recipes as well, as did former Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley and Cherry Starr, wife of NFL notable Bart Starr.
You'll find recipes from Birmingham area restaurants, too, such as Bottega, Ocean, Cobb Lane, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Iz Catering, Satterfield's and the Bright Star. Birmingham-area veterinarians contributed recipes as well.
There's a pet-food recipe section, too, called Critter Cuisine, and a Heart to Heart section addressing pet care.
The catalyst for the cookbook was, appropriately enough, the auxiliary's monthly luncheons, where food is prepared by, and for, members.
''We have glorious lunches,'' says cookbook co-chairwoman Gail Batchelor. ''Everybody says, 'I want that recipe.''
Which, more than a year ago, prompted auxiliary member Rita Wood to say, ''Somebody needs to do a cookbook.'' To which Batchelor replied, ''I'll do it.''
It's done, and debuts Thursday at the humane society's Fur Art's Sake gallery opening and holiday open house. And the hope, humane society supporters say, is that folks will seriously buy into the idea of a cookbook that's fun.
''It costs us $150,000 a month to run the shelter,'' says humane society spokeswoman Victoria Arrand. ''Those dollars have to come from somewhere.''
''Paws to Celebrate,''$25, is available at the humane society gift shop at 300 Snow Drive in Homewood, or www.gbhsauxiliary.org ($5 shipping and handling applies). For information, 397-8531, www.gbhsauxiliary.org or gbhs.org (click on Visit the GBHS Virtual Gift Shop).