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.