A Very Fuddles Christmas

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
A Very Fuddles Christmas Book Poster Image
Pampered cat gets into trouble in funny Christmas adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows typical cat behavior, played for laughs. 

Positive Messages

If you mess stuff up, you're going to get in trouble. Listen when parents say, "Don't touch," or you might find yourself on a time-out. No matter how badly you behave, your parents still love you and will care for you if you get hurt and welcome you home if you get lost. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Fuddles may get into trouble a lot, but he's just curious, like cats are. And because he's spoiled and pampered by his family, he mistakenly thinks everything is "just for him." He's almost always smiling and remains upbeat, even when he falls down or a pile of snow plops onto his head. His human mom tries to be firm and discipline him when he misbehaves, but she welcomes him when he comes home and treats him with kindness to make him feel better after his ordeal out in the snow. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Very Fuddles Christmas is a seasonal adventure featuring the lovable, pampered pussycat introduced in Fuddles. The self-absorbed feline assumes everything's for him: the Christmas turkey, presents, a gingerbread house, a string of lights. When he topples the Christmas tree, he finds himself out in the cold, looking for a way back inside. It's light and funny with lots of relatable kid appeal for anyone who's ever been told, "Don't touch!" Also, the illustrations are irresistible.

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What's the story?

Fuddles, "a fat, pampered cat," climbs up on the Christmas dinner table, drawn by "the delicious meal his family made -- just for him!" He's about to eat the delicious-looking turkey when someone yells, "No, Fuddles! That's not for you!" He moves on to the gingerbread house, attacks a present, and gets tangled in Christmas lights, all to shouts of, "Fuddles, don't touch," "Stay away!," and "Be careful!" Finally he climbs up the Christmas tree and tips it over, then gets thrown out in the snow. He tries to find his way back and, while chasing some squirrels, falls through the chimney into the fireplace: "OOMPH!" Mom welcomes him, gives him a warm bath, and lays out a turkey dinner "just for him."

Is it any good?

The fun of A VERY FUDDLES CHRISTMAS is in the art. Kids will delight in seeing Fuddles pampered and overfed and then getting into all sorts of trouble with the Christmas food, presents, and decorations. It's all typical stuff, but Fuddles has so much personality, and author Frans Vischer's illustrations are so funny and expressive, kids will look forward to each rereading.

Vischer, an animator at the Disney Studio, displays a command of pacing, tension, and dramatic arc. It's easy to imagine this story as a holiday cartoon. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about cat behavior. Why would a cat think a Christmas tree full of ornaments and lights is something to climb up? 

  • Why do you think stories about cats are so popular with kids? Can you think of any other cat stories in books or on TV? Do you have a favorite cat character? 

  • Has your cat or dog ever gotten into holiday decorations or eaten food put out for your family's meal? 

Book details

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