I Don't Know What to Call My Cat by Simon Philip and Ella Bailey

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I Don't Know What to Call My Cat by Simon Philip and Ella Bailey

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: A mysterious cat arrives at the door; one little girl sets out to discover its name in this fun story that has some great illustrations, but loses its way, plot wise.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781471124136

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Getting a new pet is rife with things that you have to do. Where will they sleep? What will they eat? And, of course, what on Earth are you going to call them? Giving a pet the right name when they are tiny can be an issue in itself – a cute fluffy dog can grow into a massive hound called Fluffy, or you could call your male cat Claire. Perhaps it would help if the animal itself could tell you what name they want?

When a new cat arrives at the door it is a tricky proposition to give them a name. Do they want to be called Catkins, Cutesy, Boots, Mittens? None of these names seem to fit so the new cat leaves home in a huff. Can the little girl entice the cat back with a new and even better name, or perhaps she should just visit the zoo and choose a new pet entirely?

I Don't Know What to Call My Cat is a very cute book that seems to be made up of two slightly different stories that don't gel perfectly. One is a Seuss like story about a young girl naming her cat, she spends pages thinking about what to call it until she realises there is one major fact she has missed out – is it a he or a she? The second part of the book is when there is a gorilla in the midst.

At its best the book is all about trying to find a name for a mysterious little cat. Philip has a very straight sense of humour that amuses the reader as the little girl tries her best to stoically name the cat. However, it's Bailey's illustrations that really steal the show as she is able to portray what is happening wonderfully. Our heroine is a little chaotic so Bailey fills her house with objects that are great fun to explore. Some of the best pages are just a list of names with the type of cat that may be associated with them.

Where the book loses its way is towards the end. Our mysterious cat leaves and instead we are introduced to a gorilla as a pet. Steve the Gorilla is an amiable enough chap, but his inclusion in the story just feels like it is from another book. There is no reason to have several pages given over to a side line, when the book is only 32 pages long.

What remains is a visually attractive book with some fun ideas that cat lovers in particular will adore. However, due to a significant chunk of the book being given over to a redundant storyline, it does not quite have the impact that it could have.

One cat that does know his name is Augustus and His Smile by Catherine Rayner.

Buy I Don't Know What to Call My Cat by Simon Philip and Ella Bailey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Don't Know What to Call My Cat by Simon Philip and Ella Bailey at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy I Don't Know What to Call My Cat by Simon Philip and Ella Bailey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Don't Know What to Call My Cat by Simon Philip and Ella Bailey at Amazon.com.


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