Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

Review: Superkitty by Hannah Whitty and Paula Bowles

Review: Superkitty by Hannah Whitty and Paula Bowles

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There’s a supersized hero inside Kitty. She’d love to fight crime alongside the Sensational Superheroes, but they would rather Kitty remained in her place by the office phone. She’s just not big like them, or powerful, or showy. She doesn’t have the looks. 

When Kitty sneaks after the gang as they respond to a mission, she finds out their image may be worth more than their skills. 

It is left to Kitty to face Nefarious Norman the dog and rescue an ancient bone. 

A humorous book about heroes with a big heart. I fell in love with Kitty at the cover, and frankly, that kind of charm is a skill which every superhero should have. 

img_8567We live in an era where everybody is conscious of their appearance. Not just physical appearance, but the kind of messages we are selling to others about our lifestyles and work ethics and core beliefs. With so many images of apparently strong, wholesome and successful people everywhere we look, it can be difficult to believe we measure up. Kitty doesn’t look like a superhero, and she creeps around in the background, so she is quickly overlooked. The truth is she has far more ingenuity, daring and quick thinking than any of the Sensational Superheroes. 

This would also be a lovely book for talking about size. For example, just because someone is small or looks young for their age, it doesn’t make them any less brave. Please remember that tall people can feel equally self-conscious! I had a growth spurt at eleven and didn’t stop until my late teens. Lots of my friends were short and they used to get all kinds of encouragement that I just didn’t see. (They hated it. ‘Why are they talking like I’m a baby?’ was a common response). The message isn’t just about small. It is about not judging by what is on the outside. 

The design reminds me slightly of the original Powerpuff Girls, with buildings and rooms as backdrops. Certain objects are picked out while others are the same colour as the rest of the room. This draws the eye to what is important, creating a visual storytelling experience. (And yes, humming theme music as Kitty runs to the rescue is a good idea). 

A sensational story which reminds us that even if we feel overshadowed, we are capable of great things. 

 

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for my gifted copy of Superkitty. Opinions my own.

 

Blogmas 2018 · christmas · Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

Review: Sammy Claws The Christmas Cat by Lucy Rowland And Paula Bowles

Review: Sammy Claws The Christmas Cat by Lucy Rowland And Paula Bowles

img_7588Furry, purry Sammy Claws dreams of the day that Santa will take him up in the sleigh, but every time Sammy tries to help with the Christmas preparations he ends up causing trouble. When Sammy Claws falls asleep in a box, he finds himself wrapped up and packaged away in the back of the sleigh. Can Sammy save Santa when he gets into a spot of bother?

A cute and funny story about Santa’s pet cat.

Ginormous purrs for this lovely story about Santa’s pet cat. Cat lovers will recognise Sammy – he’s the sort of cat who licks the bowl clean, asks for more then falls asleep in a corner. He’s also warm-hearted. As someone who has always lived with cats, I know how they come to help with different tasks. Help, unfortunately, often means delay and disruption.

Even so, we love our furry friends. As Santa finds out, they are there for us in ways we may not even expect. Sammy’s run-in with two burglars is classic comedy. Think people in black-and-white stripes sneaking up on the sleigh while good old Santa is busy down the chimney. Get in practice for the panto season with cries of they’re behind you, and calls for Sammy to wake up and help. This story would make a lovely read-aloud because of the opportunities for acting and audience-involvement. 

The illustration is bold and twinkly. I love the blue backgrounds. Lots of starry skies and icy North-Pole dwellings. It feels just a little bit magical and provides the natural backdrop for Santa’s red sleigh. I love the detailed buildings and the bright textile patterns which bring out Christmassy details like wrapping paper and warm scarves.

At long last there is a story about Santa’s cat. Sammy Claws is as memorable and sweet as any literary cat and you will cheer him on as he saves Christmas Day.

 

Thanks to Nosy Crow Books for my copy of Sammy Claws The Christmas Cat. Opinions my own.

 

Check out day two of Blogmas 2018.