Love, Splat by Rob Scotton
|Love, Splat by Rob Scotton|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: Valentine's Day rom-com in the School for Cats, this is a well-illustrated and told, but ultimately mercenary production. It takes a teen scenario, applies it to cats which personify five year olds, but it's the parental 'awww, bless' and the resulting purchase that it ultimately aims for. Useful as a joke gift for a cat-loving girlfriend, though.|
|Buy? As a joke for a grown-up||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 32||Date: February 2009|
|Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books|
Splat the cat is rather keen on one of the girls at school. She's white, fluffy, and called Kitten – but she keeps teasing him! Does she like Splat? Or does she really think he's smelly and annoying? Splat makes a Valentine's Day card and goes to school nervous but hopeful...
Rob Scotton certainly can draw appealing pictures: ones with a very modern sensibility in the "cute caricature" style. His Russell the Sheep books are deservedly popular for sweet and humorous stories and magical illustrations.
Unlike Russell, Splat the Cat started his life at the mugs, cards and stationery end of a character franchise but has now graduated to a picture book series of his own: and if Love, Splat is anything to go by, some of the magic that infused the dreamy sheep's adventures has, sadly, disappeared.
The artwork is still impressive, with monochrome cats moving about a muted-coloured world punctuated by bright splashes of intense colour (mostly red in this case). The typography fits the artwork well and the production values of the book are high: it's a joy to handle and look at.
I do, however, have two bones to pick with Love, Splat, apart from the essentially mercenary character of the franchise. Whether you consider them important for you would probably depend on your attitudes to the Hallmark holidays like Valentine's Day in general and in particular to the celebrating of it amongst that part of the population well below the age of any sexual awareness. If the idea of three year olds doing Valentine cards at their playgroup and seven year olds exchanging theirs in class makes you shudder, this is certainly not a book for you.
And secondly, and in connection to the above, the plot seems to me wildly mismatched with the potential readership. Love, Splat is a picture book for preschoolers, maybe the very youngest primary school children. Children of that age do not suffer from secret crushes on their playmates: they tend to express their likes, dislikes and affections with an often horrifying (for parents, anyway) openness.
Love, Splat uses a scenario recognisable to most teenagers and maybe pre-teens and applies it to furry cats which personify five-year-olds, but it's the parental "awww, bless" and the resulting purchase that it seems to be ultimately aiming for.
If you are looking for a jokey V-Day present for your beloved who likes ugly-but-cute cats, this is a good choice. For a child - I wouldn't bother.
Thank you to Harper Collins for sending this book to the BookBag. We also have a review of Fishy Tales by Rob Scotton.
You can read more book reviews or buy Love, Splat by Rob Scotton at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Love, Splat by Rob Scotton at Amazon.com.
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