Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Catawampus Cat

The Catawampus Cat by Jason Carter Eaton, illustrated by Gus Gordon (Viking) HB RRP $24.99   ISBN 9780143785583

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Catawampus (cat-uh-wahm-pus): n. <1. Diagonal or at an angle. 2. Askew, awry.

The Catawampus Cat
is a fun and humorous tale of a slightly askew cat that wanders into a busy town, unaware that he is about to change everything. The beautifully simple endpapers, outlining the cat’s journey, set the tone but don’t give too much away.

The townsfolk are busy… busy doing what they’ve always done. As the catawampus cat meanders around town on a regular Tuesday morning, he unknowingly has a profound effect on the people who notice him. The grocer, the barber, the housepainter, the librarian, a school boy and even daredevil Captain Whizzbang all alter their perspectives and are left with a positive change. And it doesn’t stop there! People begin to talk, and the happiness spreads, all because of this catawampus cat. But as the town celebrates, the cat’s reaction to all the fuss may not be what you expect!

Jason Carter Eaton has written an engaging book for a young audience and there is plenty to keep them entertained. Gus Gordon’s collage illustrations are as wonderful as ever, with lots for young eyes to devour. The mixed media artwork, a little off-centre, complements the story beautifully.

This is a fantastic story about how looking at things from a different angle can be helpful, literally and metaphorically. This picture book would also be a great resource for a class lesson on synonyms (There are no fewer than 10 synonyms for ‘catawampus’ woven throughout the book!). Highly recommended for children aged 4-8.






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