Snug (Little Gems) by Michael Morpurgo and Faye Hansen

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Snug (Little Gems) by Michael Morpurgo and Faye Hansen

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: An easy to read story of the joy and heartbreak of having a pet.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 86 Date: September 2013
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1781122860

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Michael Morpurgo has captured what is like to own a cat, or perhaps more accurately to be owned by a cat, perfectly. Snug comes into the family at almost the same time as Lisa and the two grow up together and share a special bond. His exploits will be familiar to any one who has any experience of cats and many children will relate to things Snug does just like their own pet. The illustrations in this book are beautiful and certain to delight any animal lover, as well as giving readers a nostalgic look at childhood.

On the downside though, this book may not have quite enough action many children. My oldest son, age 8 found the book dull in some parts and sad in others. I'm afraid there really wasn't anything he liked about it. I decided not to share this with my younger child as I felt that he would find the book depressing. He does understand the difference between fiction and non fiction, and realise that these stories are not real, but he does not enjoy sad stories. I am afraid this story could leave many children in tears though, especially children who are deeply attached to their own cats - and of course these are the children most likely to be interested in the story.

Although my oldest didn't take to this book, I can see how children with different tastes might. He prefers something with a bit more action. I feel this particular book has a very narrow age range though. Many older children will find the everyday experiences with a cat too mundane to catch their interest. Younger children however are apt to be upset by deaths in this book. The story begins with Snug being orphaned by a cat shoot in the local barns, in which excess felines are culled. My own children have always especially disliked stories in which the mother is killed, but the oldest is able to overlook this now. The story ends with another dead cat, thankfully not Snug as it was first thought, but it still ends with another child crying for the death of a beloved pet. In addition to the deaths of cats, the book mentions how Snug delighted in slowly killing young birds. On the plus side, this has convinced my oldest that he never wants a cat, which suits me very well as dog person, but this would certainly have upset my youngest child as well. Even the oldest wasn't too happy to read about something very close to torture and to realise that this really does happen. In some ways, I felt this book would better suit an adult reminiscing over a beloved pet than a young child. I think it will be difficult to find children young enough to enamoured of the very everyday activities of the cat, but still old enough to shrug off the deaths and sorrow.

For more about cats we can recommend:

The Wickedest Witch in the World by Kaye Umansky and Gerald Kelley

Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond by Tom Cox

Buy Snug (Little Gems) by Michael Morpurgo and Faye Hansen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Snug (Little Gems) by Michael Morpurgo and Faye Hansen at

Buy Snug (Little Gems) by Michael Morpurgo and Faye Hansen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Snug (Little Gems) by Michael Morpurgo and Faye Hansen at


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