Saturday 26 December 2015

The Cat with No Tail

The Cat with No Tail by Kate Ilich, illustrated by Lexie Watt (Little Steps Publishing)

PB RRP $16.95
ISBN: 9781925117455

Reviewed by Anne Hamilton

The realism of the accomplished illustrations add a special touch to this book about a Manx cat—a breed of feline without a tail.

The themes of this rhyming story are about difference, acceptance and friendship.

Meg is a cat with a short, rabbit-like puff of a tail. Her owner lets her out one day for a play. But what should be a fun time turns into repeated episodes of embarrassment based on her appearance. A magpie, a dog and a snake all laugh at her for her strange look. Miserable and lonely, Meg wished for two things—a tail and a friend.

After a wild storm, she hears squawking, barking and hissing. The bird, the dog and the snake are all in trouble. It doesn’t take Meg long to rescue them. They apologise for devaluing Meg’s appearance and not valuing her willingness to help. Soon they are all friends.

The target audience for this book is 3–6 year olds. The language level seems a little high at times for that group. The rhyme scheme is strong and easy; however, the rhythm in many cases doesn’t flow easily. Free verse might have been a better choice. However, the robust themes and the skilful illustrations balance this out.  

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