Monday, August 29, 2011


By Rob Scotton

(HarperCollins, 2008)

I had to buy this book after my first quick flip through the pages. The illustration on the second page, an anxious Splat the Cat taking refuge under the sheets yet still visible through the thin layer, struck me as truly remarkable. I am a fledgling stick figure artist at best so I stared in awe at the delightful drawing. How did Rob Scotton do that?!

Okay, so why is Splat so anxious that he needs to hide in bed? It is the morning of his first day at Cat School. Yes, this is a wonderful book to share with young readers worried about the start of kindergarten, a new school or simply a new school year. For many students (and adults, both parents and teachers), there is excitement about school but there are also the nagging What Ifs.

Splat’s Mom must get him out of bed and off to school, no easy feat since the young feline puts up a strong resistance. When he grabs his lunchbox, Splat sneaks Seymour, his pet mouse, inside. Best not to face the first day alone.

Despite being welcomed by Mrs. Wimpydimple, and classmates, the anxiety persists. Splat barrages his teacher with questions. Lunch offers a reprieve for Mrs. Wimpydimple, but not for Splat. Chaos erupts when, surrounded by cat classmates, Splat opens the lunchbox, revealing his pet. A mouse in a roomful of can imagine.

Scotton, who also wrote and illustrated Russell the Sheep, doesn’t waste a word of text in telling this engaging story. I have read this book many times to classes and students smiles and laugh at the pictures throughout the book. Whether or not you are worried about the coming school year, Splat the Cat is an entertaining read.

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