Thursday, June 06, 2019

Slinky Malinki's Cat Tales by Lynley Dodd and Oi Frog! by Kes Gray and Jim Field - Children's Day #3

These two books were both purchased for my personal collection.

Slinky Malinki
was blacker than black,
a stalking and lurking
adventurous cat. 
He had bright yellow eyes,
a warbling wail
and a kink at the end
of his very long tail. 

He was cheeky and cheerful, 
friendly and fun,
he'd chase after leaves 
and he'd roll in the sun.

Slinky Malinki and Scarface Claw were mentioned in my cat group by an Australian cat lover who thought cat lovers from other countries might be interested in the cat books Australians grew up with. It's a huge cat group with over 150,000 members from around the world. I have to wonder how many other non-Australian cat lovers rushed online to see if they could find a Slinky Malinki book or two to read, as I did.

Slinky Malinki's Cat Tales contains a variety of stories about Slinky Malinki stealing things, causing all sorts of chaos when Slinky Malinki figures out how to open doors, playing outside with other cats at night, and waking his family (then going for a nap after they all rise). The fifth story is about Scarface Claw and what a tough cat he is, except when he sees his own reflection — the only thing he's afraid of!

Highly recommended - Cat-loving kids (and old folks like me who love to read children's books) will adore Slinky Malinki and Scarface Claw because they're so very, very true to the reality of the kind of mischief and silliness that cats get up to. Even my husband loved this collection of stories.

Oi Frog! Sit on a log!"
said the cat. 
"But I don't want to sit on a log," said the frog.
"Logs are all knobbly and uncomfortable. 
And they can give you spliinters in your bottom."
"I don't care," said the cat.
"You're a frog, so you must sit on a log."
"Can't I sit on a mat?" 
asked the frog. 
"Only cats sit on mats," said the cat.

Oi Frog! is a book that I bought almost entirely based on the cover. I just thought it was so stinking cute. And, the illustrations are by far the best thing about the book, which continues to talk through what various animals sit upon. Hares on chairs, mules on stools, frogs on logs. Because they rhyme and it's a British book, there are a few that don't quite rhyme if you're American, like gophers on sofas, but if you're as ridiculous as I am, you can always read the book to your child in a British accent (it's okay if you're terrible at British accents — kids don't care).

Some of the rhymes are delightfully nutty, like parrots sitting on carrots, fleas on peas, and storks on forks. But, the ending is by far the best part.

"What do dogs sit on?" asked the frog. 
"I was hoping you weren't going to ask that," said the cat . . . 

The final illustration shows a frog beneath a dog's bottom, holding a white flag that says, "Help!" I laughed out loud at that final page spread.

Recommended but not a favorite - It's the illustrations that make Oi Frog! a delight. Admittedly, I did find myself zoning out a bit at the sheer number of rhyming descriptions of what various animals sit on. But, I'm sure little ones will have giggle fits at the silliness. It's a super cute book. There's a whole series, in fact. I don't plan to buy more. Oi Frog! was a total whim. I'll have fun reading it to the grandkids (or they'll have fun reading it with Mom or Dad), though. I'm definitely curious to see what else Jim Field has illustrated. I do love the illustrations.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

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