To Be a Cat

I’m in love, with a book, To Be a Cat by Matt Haig, a 9+ children’s book to be precise, it is absolutely fantastic. It tells the story of Barney, a school boy who wished he was a cat and got exactly what he wished for. There’s a little bit of magic, an evil headmistress, a missing father and a hilarious author narrator who butts into the story from time to time. The story has a really unique voice but if it were going to remind me of anything I’d say Neil Gaiman and that is very high praise indeed.

Now I like reading kids books and it’s getting handy that Girl (and in part Boy) Lacer are getting to the age where they can start reading some of the kids books I’m reading. I tried to sell the Hugo book to Girl Lacer but she wasn’t having any of it but both kids have been all over To Be a Cat, helped in part by the gorgeous illustrations throughout the book by Pete Williamson, before I even finished it. This has now gone on Girl Lacer’s to be read pile, straight after she’s finished her latest Famous Five apparently, I suspect Boy Lacer will be getting it read to him as well. And I am very pleased about that because I’m happy when they get enthusiastic about any book, but I’m particularly happy about this because a) I loved it and I love sharing books I love with the kids that I think are funny and clever and exciting b) this book in particular has quite a strong moral message (I won’t say what it is, as it’s part of the plot) and although I normally disagree with overly moralising books, the message in this book is an important one in today’s increasingly demanding world and the moral is PART of the story instead of tacked on, so I approve 😉 (and it doesn’t go anywhere near preachy).

Edited to add (25/8/12)

Although Girl Lacer hasn’t finished her Famous Five book yet, apparently she couldn’t help but read the first chapter of To Be a Cat last night (goodness knows what time she was up to, I am a very lax parent when it comes to turning a blind eye to late night reading), as apparently she “picked it up to have a look at it but couldn’t help reading the first chapter” and she liked how the author says you can’t trust authors. So looking like it’s going to get the almost 9 seal of approval in this house, as well as the grown up seal of approval 😉

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One thought on “To Be a Cat

  1. oooh, may give that one a go with J, although he not really into animal books, he loves anything vaguely magical… we too are “lax”parents in that we have accepted that he will read after lights out so we’d rather he did it with good light rather than bad under the duvet…

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