Jumble Cat by Archie Kimpton, illustrator Kate Hindley (Hot Key Books)
PB RRP $12.95
Reviewed by Jacque Duffy
Jumble Cat is a wicked romp of a story full of … well, wickedness. I can imagine boys 8 – 12 years rolling around on the floor in fits of laughter whilst reading this book.
Archie Kimpton’s Jumble Cat is fart humour with finesse. His way with words is nothing short of captivating. Not only are his words as poetically jumbled as the Cat but the way he describes certain characters is almost naughty.
The main character Billy Slipper is normal enough in a Cinderella kind of way but oddly enough, his best friend is a ninety something year old woman. Together they befriend a foul mouthed jumbled–up cat and win thousands in prize money only to have it stolen. They embark on an adventure scaling castle walls, stealing and crashing his monstrous mother’s car, so they can rescue the grungy rude cat from a demented taxidermist.
Archie’s writing is a delight to read, and quite often I put my hand to my mouth in a No, he didn’t just say that kind of way. This excerpt is Billy’s mother Phillipa Slipper:
“Believe it or not, Phillipa Slipper was in a good mood. She was always in a good mood after her course. ‘Do you know what I learnt this evening?’ She twittered excitedly. ‘How to kill butterflies. Do you know the best way to kill a butterfly?’ She didn’t wait for an answer. ‘You could try a fly swatter, but you might leave a terrible mark on the wall. So you can either suck them out of the air with a vacuum cleaner, or if that doesn’t work, try catching them in a jar, put the lid on and watch them suffocate. Simple! And no mess.”
Jumble Cat is Archie Kimpton’s first book and I daresay not his last. The layout of the book is clean and easy to follow. Each black and white illustration is strong and gives a less confident reader a well-deserved rest.
Young readers will enjoy this book and I very much enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Jacque Duffy is the author and illustrator of The Bear Said Please picture book and the series ‘That’s not a …” learn to read books used in all Queensland State Primary Schools and one local history coffee table book.