Splat the Catby Rob Scotton
It's Splat's first day of school and he's worried. What if he doesn't make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do… See more details below
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It's Splat's first day of school and he's worried. What if he doesn't make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat's worried again. Maybe now he'll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all!
Working in the same edgy style of his Russell the Sheep books, Scotton once again wrests new opportunities for humor from a well-worn theme, this time training his sights on first-day-of-school anxiety. Right away the art signals off-kilter: using a predominantly blue-gray palette, enlivened by only one or two contrast colors per page, Scotton evokes the black cat Splat in almost 3D renderings, the cat's hairs seemingly standing on edge, eyes bulging apprehensively as he contemplates his first appearance at Cat School. For courage, Splat secretly brings along his pet mouse, Seymour, and is astounded when the day's lesson includes the news that cats chase mice (to Splat's multiple "Why?"s, the teacher offers a finite "Because"). Naturally, everything works out before the dismissal bell rings, but not before a chase sequence guaranteed to bring down the house. Rambunctious, filled with superbly executed details (look for Seymour when Splat pulls his mildly sheer sheets over his head), this book not only gets its job done, it completely transcends its agenda. Ages 3-7. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
K-Gr 2- Fans of Scotton's Russell the Sheep will immediately recognize the offbeat humor in Splat the Cat . The fuzzy black feline is worried about his first day of school, and despite determined attempts to avoid the inevitable, he ends up there. School is a combination of fantastic revelations and baffling mysteries. Most puzzling of all for Splat is the news that cats chase mice. He does not chase mice. In fact, he has a pet mouse whom he has packed in his lunchbox because he wants a friend with him on his first day. The sight of the mouse causes chaos, but proves fortuitous when Seymour saves the day by crawling through a small hole to unlock the milk pantry. Cheered by the fact that school is, in fact, wonderful, Splat excitedly returns on the second day. This lighthearted story, told with a generous helping of humor and goofy characterizations, will have broad appeal. The backgrounds are full of great details, like the fish-bone wallpaper in Splat's room and one of his classmates clutching a Russell the Sheep doll. There is something new to find with each reading. The use of monochrome in the illustrations, with a touch of color here and there, emphasizes the idea of school as a place of uniformity where fresh ideas are allowed to break through. Splat is a welcome addition to the first-day-jitters canon and a fun book to read any time of year.-Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
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