There is often one thing we wish we could change about ourselves, and for Curly Cat, it’s his tail. It’s not like other tails, it’s long and curly and rubbish collects in it as he walks along. But as we know, perceptions can change and before the story ends Curly Cat will have a new appreciation for his “different and weird” tail, as will the other cats who clamour to have “different and weird” tails too.
I enjoyed the interesting language choices giving readers a chance to extend their vocabulary, promenade, smouldering, stupendous as examples. Illustrations by Zerika van Jaarsveld are detailed and full of emotion, I noticed lots of little details as read it for a second and third time, they will delight young readers.
Included at the end of the book are several pages with information about cat tails (the world record for the longest tail is 44.6cm!), real-life types of cats that inspired the cat characters in the book, hints about bullying, how to stop it and what readers can do if they are being bullied. These sections add an extra layer of interest and usefulness to readers and give extended teaching opportunities.
I can see this being used in a classroom to highlight bullying in an accessible way to young children.
Title: Curly Cat
Author: Jennifer Somervell
Illustrator: Zerika van Jaarsveld
Publisher: Landing Lights Press
Format: Softcover Picture Book
Publication: October 2021
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? No
Would this book work as a read aloud? Yes
Is there a particular part of the country that it’s set in? No
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended.
Opening sentence: Curly Cat sighs as the cats of Pawsville promenade past.
You can buy this book here