Thursday, 28 February 2019

Cat Tales (Smoke Cat) by Linda Newberry






This a one in a series of stories about cats.  Further subtitles are: The Cat with Two Names, Rain Cat, Shop cat, The Cat Who Wasn’t There and Ice Cat.  Author Linda Newberry is a cat lover and keeps cats herself. 

There is nothing in the book or on the cover to indicate that this is a book for early readers. The child can have the delight of picking the book to read. It has a respectable spine.  Yet the props are there: There are short chapters, the text is printed in a large font (though it has a small serif and difficult ‘a’s and ‘g’s), the lines are double-spaced, it is formatted ragged right and there are line-drawings which mainly illustrate but occasionally tell more of the story.  

There is plenty of story, a ghost story at that.  Protagonist Simon has moved into a new house – which is actually quite an old house and sees a strange old lady in the garden next-door.  No one else can see her. She seems to talk to the plants but she is actually talking to the cats who are buried beneath them. She is troubled about Smoke, who is also confused and distressed. Simon helps them both.        

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