Long-Haired Cat-Boy Cub by Etgar Keret, Aviel Basil and Sondra Silverston (translator)
|Long-Haired Cat-Boy Cub by Etgar Keret, Aviel Basil and Sondra Silverston (translator)|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A perfect book with a young lad left to his own devices by his workaholic father just one time too many.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: November 2019|
|Publisher: Seven Stories Press|
|External links: Author's website|
One day a boy is in the zoo with his father, when the man gets called away on urgent business. The boy isn't hustled into a cab and taken home first, though, no – he's given hot dog money, and taxi money, and told to just stick around on his own and enjoy himself. Well, it's no surprise that the orphan-for-an-afternoon sensation the lad feels doesn't make him happy, and so he thinks of a species name for himself, and curls himself up into an empty cage, as if he were a new exhibit. And it's then the drama begins…
This was a charming, clever, obvious, intelligent and witty book for the young. Charming, clever and witty, for it clearly shows the absurd side of a patently everyday situation, and turns it into a fantastical drama. Obvious, for when we see what the moral and point of it all is, we see just how well-planned and intelligently everything has fitted together, and how well the message is being put across.
The design is fine – the palette actually reduces the gaudiness a zoo might have, but still shows all the colour and life of the place. It adds in copious monkeys to spot, but the book didn't need them, for this is such a wonderful volume without. At the end we see copious clues to suggest it all might have been a dream, but of course, there's enough to disprove that.
Those clues are probably only ones adults will see, and in a way this book is just as much for adults as for them. It's about the problems they cause, for one thing – the author, more well-known for short stories for mature people, is clearly on the wavelength of the parent. But in giving us a slap on the wrist in such a wonderful way this will equally appeal to the junior reader. For them this bright and breezy tale will be perfect. The text is just one large paragraph per spread, the language is easy and chatty for the intended audience to latch on to, and the book will entertain as well as prove a very salient point. So salient, that if and when your youngster tugs at your office shirt sleeve and says 'look dad, read this', you'd do well to take that advice.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
Deadwood Hall by Linda Jones also has real children doing real children things without adult supervision – but you won't just be buying the one in the series.
You can read more book reviews or buy Long-Haired Cat-Boy Cub by Etgar Keret, Aviel Basil and Sondra Silverston (translator) at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Long-Haired Cat-Boy Cub by Etgar Keret, Aviel Basil and Sondra Silverston (translator) at Amazon.com.
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