The successful duo that created The Boy And The Toy, have teamed up again to bring us Come Down, Cat! Embracing so many themes this picture book is perfect for 6-8 aged readers in particular.
The opening page catapults the reader straight in to the problem that dominates the book - young Nicholas' cat is stuck on the roof of his very impressive, and notably very tall house. In true cat style all attempts from Nicholas to rescue her are met with a cheeky "marl" and often times followed by a run to an even more hard to reach place. Typical cat like behaviour!
Nicholas faces an uncomfortable night as his mind races with all sorts of monsters, crawlies and ghosts that might frighten his cat in the shadows of the dark night. Sonya Hartnett effectively captures Nicholas' fears as he lays awake in bed ...
"She'd hear howls and whispers,
and scritchy, scratchy sounds."
Lucia Masicullo's illustrations, dominated by a rich blue pallate to convey the mysteries of the night, add atmosphere and mood to the developing storyline.
Eventually it is something much less sinister that spooks his cat and weakens the cat's stubbornness. Nicholas comes to his rescue demonstrating his own bravery and love for his friend. The portrait of Nicholas with his cat snug in the warmth and safety of his arms is one of my favourites, it so effectively conveys that love and admiration that exists between children and their pets.
This is a lovely picture book with a strong storyline which is sure to remain a favourite for quite sometime.
Come Down, Cat! is a short-listed book for The Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2012 and has been awarded the 2012 Speech Pathology's Book of the Year Award: Young Children Category.
Teacher notes on Come Down, Cat! from Penguin books are available in PDF format here.