I, along with many others, are flying the flag for illustrated fiction. We are seeing more and more illustrations in books now, and they’re brilliant. When I’m asked for recommendations for children’s books in the library, I always gravitate towards these. They’re fun and engaging for readers of all ages and appealing to children who may find large chunks of text a bit daunting.
This is Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Kittycat Kidnap, written by Alan Dapré and illustrated by Yuliya Somina. It tells the story of Porridge, who fell into a tartan tin of paint, and ends up permanently tartan. This series of 6 books, follows his adventures! This particular tale follows Porridge as he’s catnapped by Windy Wendy the local pet shop owner. All the while, Porridge is missing and trapped in the pet shop, his family the McFuns are having issues of their own, when Mum bakes super-short shortbread and shrinks and becomes mini mum!!!
This is a crazy, fast paced, funny and action packed story which once I started to read whizzed through and thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a bit bonkers, in a good way, bounding with energy and lots of silly happenings that young children who love the absurd will adore.
So since, I raved about the importance of illustration in children’s books, let me tell you about those first. Porridge the Tartan Cat is packed full of brilliant illustrations by Yuliya. They are fun and dynamic really supporting the text brilliantly. For younger children still developing their reading skills, the illustrations are great in breaking up the text, but also giving them some guide as to the content of the book. Not only that, but they’re just brilliantly entertaining! They make the book a pleasure to read, add another dimension. Yuliya has done a great job of creating the characters visually in his story.
The writing is where these books really stand out. It’s actually a rather unique style which I haven’t come across before, and one that must have taken a huge amount of work to perfect. The writing includes alliteration, puns, onomatopoeia and lots of general word play. It makes for exciting and fun reading and is a great way to introduce play on words to children, the perfect opening for discussion on words and language. It’s really nicely done, and something I think would go down particularly well in schools for the more advanced readers, who can start to look at word play and explore this further. It would be a very effective book to use in school to aid creative writing also.
Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Kittycat Kidnap, is, to sum up, a fantastically frantic and fun feline filled and frenetic tale of one adorable tartan cat and his family.
The Porridge series of books are now available from all good bookshops and libraries.
To find out more about the brilliant Porridge and Alan Dapré check out their internet spot right here:
Thank you for reading this rather tartan Book Monster review.