Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond

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Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: With beautiful illustrations and a strong core story, Red Cat, Blue Cat, is well-worth a look. There are some well-rounded elements, and others that show plenty of promise.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1609052485

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Red Cat and Blue Cat don't get on. They don't get on at all. They hiss and scratch and stumble and thwump. They fight like... well, cat and cat. Each cat has a secret, though: each cat would quite like to be like the other. Blue Cat would like to be fast and bouncy like Red Cat, and Red Cat would like to be smart and quick-witted like Blue Cat. Blue Cat tries to turn red, by eating red things. Red Cat copies him. Neither changes colour, and neither takes on the characteristics of the other. Who'd have thunk it? They're going to have to come up with another plan.

Much of Red Cat, Blue Cat is great fun. The illustrations are packed with character and have a really enjoyable style. I particularly loved seeing red cat diving into the blue jelly! The core idea of two battling cats at each other's throats, and then ultimately finding friendship, is a great one. The execution, particularly towards the end, lacks a little something. The friendship plans don't always hit the mark: Red Cat's attempts at smart ideas aren't either clear enough or as funny as the earlier scenes. The final twist, with the addition of another cat, ends on an unsatisfying and confusing note, rather than the amusing conclusion it could have been.

The writing is a similar mix of very good, and promising touches. When everything clicks with the illustrations - such as when Red Cat eats certain cupcakes - it's top-notch. However, when the story drifts towards the end, the writing doesn't hold together quite as well. I'd be interested to see what Jenni Desmond produces in the future - the illustrations are of the highest standard, and it wouldn't take much more to have the writing up to a similar quality.

It's a beautiful book, and that counts for an awful lot. The front cover alone will sell many people on the story, and rightly so. It's a pleasant addition to a child's bookshelf, but may be better suited to borrow from the library. There's much to admire, and much to look forward to in the future. Worth a look.

For other feline fun, take a look at Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech, The Church Mouse by Graham Oakley, and, of course, Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr. You might also like Eric the Boy Who Lost His Gravity by Jenni Desmond.

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Buy Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond at


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