Slinky Malinki's Christmas 123 by Lynley Dodd

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Puffin, 2020. ISBN: 9780143775355.
(Age 1+) Highly recommended. Right from the front cover, with its cheeky little black cat, clutching a toy Santa and surrounded by Christmas decorations, any young reader will be enticed to open the book and see what Slinky Malinki is up to. Turning the page, Slinky is seen creeping up to a beautifully decorated Christmas tree - 1 one creeping cat, followed by 2 two red-nosed mice, 3 three shimmering shells, with Slinky getting closer and closer to the tree. Finally, 10 ten busy hands put all the decorations back on the tree with the end papers, showing Slinky peering out from behind the top branches. Oh, Slinky Malinki. Happy Christmas!
This is a joyful book that is just perfect to read aloud in the days before Christmas. The colourful illustrations are exquisite, and any cat lover will recognise the actions of Slinky as he pounces on the decorations and plays with those he gathers from the tree. The glee on his face will bring smiles to the reader's face, too. And readers will have fun guessing which decoration he will grab next and counting numbers 1 to 10 as he plays havoc with the tree. Big bold black text will help a beginning reader as well.
This is a delightful, durable and strong board book, that would be a perfect Christmas present for cat lovers and young children. It would also be a lovely bedtime story.
Pat Pledger