Review Blog

May 24 2017

I don't know what to call my cat by Simon Philip

cover image

Ill. by Ella Bailey. Simon and Schuster, 2017. ISBN 9781471124129
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Cats, Family, Decision making. All readers will enjoy reading the covers of this inviting book, seeing the cats' names reflecting their attributes. I laughed out loud at Dali's moustache, Elton's eyes and Ziggy's scar, and readers will pick up the humour before they open the first page.
When a cat choses the protagonist as its owner, she has a lot of trouble finding a suitable name. She scrolls through many: Betty, Lorraine and Ethel and so on, until a visit to the vet shows her that she needs a boy's name. Then a similar scrolling through a number of boys' names occurs with the cat rejecting them with his bahviour. Readers will laugh out loud at the animal's antics, and sympathise when it appears to run away, doffing the clothes in which it has been dressed. Surprisingly the girl goes to the zoo, and selects an ape for her pet, but he destroys her house until the zoo keepers retrieve him.
When he disappears back to the zoo, her cat reappears resplendent with his name, Tricky on a plate around his neck. She is ecstatic and draws a line across the floor, delineating how they will now interreact with each other.
With detailed digital illustrations the relationships between the young girl and the animals will cause lots of laugh, as they work out their boundaries. Readers will have a great time finding the cat on the pages where he has run away, shouting out to the little girl where to find him.
As the children read this story they will assimilate information about how to look after a pet and some of the responsibilities in doing so.
Fran Knight

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