Catch Us If You Can-Can by Alex T Smith

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Catch Us If You Can-Can by Alex T Smith

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Wonderfully silly illustrations to go with a bonkers story. Great fun!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: August 2012
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444903652

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Having met Foxy DuBois previously in the excellent Egg here she is again, as charming as ever and this time hoping to win a giant golden egg! In order to win the egg she must compete in a So you think you can boogie competition (!) and, since the competition is open only to birds she must enter herself, and her unlikely dance partner, in disguise!

I'm a big fan of Alex T Smith. There's something about his style of illustration, and the way he writes stories, that just tickles me. This latest story is no exception. Foxy Dubois is determined to win the golden egg. She enlists the help of Alphonso Alligator and the two of them get themselves some bird disguises from the fancy dress shop before brushing up on their dancing skills. When the day of the competition comes around Foxy and Alphonso dazzle the judges, but before they can claim their prize their costumes fall off! Quickly grabbing the egg they find themselves in a car chase, racing away with the egg. There's more calamity to come, however, and the revelation that the golden egg isn't quite what it seems...

I think my favourite thing about this story - and all of those by Alex T Smith - is how silly it is. He's not afraid to be silly, and knowingly silly, and you can feel comfortably silly yourself alongside of him as you read. Seeing Foxy and Alphonso in their truly terrible disguises (paper beaks and a few stuck on feathers) it's obvious that they'd never pass for birds, but somehow you accept that the judges believe they're birds, right up until the moment that those few feathers start to drop off!

The illustrations are brilliantly drawn. On your first read-through, you just see them as helping to tell the story, but if you go back and really look at them you can see how much care and attention there is, with wonderfully portrayed characters and some beautiful lighting effects. The picture of Foxy Dubois standing in the rain looking into the Fancy Dress Shop window is just lovely. I also love Alphonso the Alligator with his dastardly moustache and cunning villain eyebrows!

The style of the story is a lot of fun, and it's entertaining for both children and adults. My five-year-old and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it as fun any time of day read!

If you haven't met Claude yet then you really should try Claude in the City and Claude at the Circus. When children start to read they might like to move on to Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T Smith.

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