Review Blog

Jan 16 2019

Flat cat by Hiawyn Oram

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Ill. by Gwen Millward. Walker Books, 2019. ISBN 9781406371543
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Cats, Friendship. Jimi-My-Jim lives in an apartment in a big city with his owner, Sophie. She loves him dearly and spoils him woefully with only the best of treats and toys. He responds by doing exactly what she wants him to do. But she leaves him home when she and her mother go out. Jimi can only look out of the window and watch the cat across the road with some envy. And after a while he loses his fullness and becomes flat. One day Sophie and her mother leave in a hurry and forget to take the house keys. Jimi collects the keys and lets himself out of the apartment, heading straight across the road for the cat he sees from the window. They have a wonderful time together: she takes him to meet other cats, listen to music and roam the big city, things he has never done or seen before. So excited is he with his new friends and experiences that he takes them all home to the apartment and there they have a wild time, making music, singing and dancing. But Sophie and her parents return to the dismay of all, the new found friends escaping by any means they can. Jumi is admonished but Sophie realises why he did what he did. She knows that she has smothered her cat and resolves to find a solution, as the apartment building does not allow cat flaps. The situation is resolved to the happiness of all.
Illustrator Millward draws a wonderful Jimi with a wistful look upon his face, peering out longingly into the freedom offered by 'outside'. Her multiplicity of cats is a delight on every page and children will adore the cats having a wonderful time in the apartment before the adults return.
Fran Knight

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