Sunday, January 3, 2016

The cat that scratched by Jonathan Long illustrated by Korky Paul

Here is a puzzle. I think these two covers and different titles are actually the same book.  I am guessing the title changed when the book was reprinted in 2009.  We own the one called The cat that scratched.

I have been making a collection of rhyming picture books and picture books which contain a story poem.  The Cat that Scratched is a fairly old book first published in 1997 but it contains a terrific story with a repeated refrain which means it will work very well as a read-a-loud.

The illustrations are also very special.  Korky Paul is famous as the illustrator of the Winnie the Witch series.

"There once was a cat with a terrible itch.  She had fleas in her fur which was making her twitch."

The pesky flea refuses to go.
"Ha ha ha,' said a voice, all tiny and teasy.  'To get rid of me won't be nearly that easy."

There are some wonderful words in this book :

This poor beleaguered cat tries everything.  She shakes and spins.  Tries using a vacuum cleaner.  She asks the hairdresser to comb, curl and clip.  The scene where she puts herself through the car wash is amazing. "Scrub-dub-dub, it went, duba-scrub-scrub. And rolled her around like a sock in a tub."

Finally the cat decides she just has to live with this itch.  She sets off down the road where she encounters a scene of great panic because a lion has just escaped from the zoo.  I will leave you to guess at the possible ending.

You might like to follow this book with a couple more about fleas.  Scritch Scratch by Miriam Moss, Mr McGee and the biting flea by Pamela Allen, The very itchy bear by Nick Bland and for a book with a different viewpoint coincidentally also illustrated by Korky Paul take a look at Tiny by Paul Rogers.

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