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Splat the Cat
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a sweet story that will help ease any kid's first day jitters. Though the story of a cat and his pet mouse at Cat School is somewhat implausible, it shows how the fun of unexpected lessons manages to change one cat's worry into excitement.
What's the story?
Because Splat is nervous about his first day of school, he decides to bring along Seymour, his pet mouse. Seymour's untimely escape causes havoc in Cat School, and everyone learns an important lesson in the end. Most of all Splat learns that he has friends, he is amazing, and going to school is fun as well as exciting.
Is it any good?
Most kids will relate to Splat the Cat, who wakes up on the morning of his first day in Cat School, wishing he could find some way out of going. He is nervous and tries every trick in the book to delay the day. When he packs his pet mouse in his lunch box, hoping to have a friend to keep him company, the story gets a bit strange. And what happens later in the classroom spins even further into the implausible. However, for the most part, the lessons he and his classmates learn are good ones. He loses his jitters, and, as he lies in bed that night, his once-worried tail wiggles with excitement as he thinks about the coming day.
Though sweet, cute, and a little silly, Splat's story pales in comparison to the wonderfully bold illustrations that make this book stand out. It's obvious that SPLAT THE CAT was created art first, story second. The black, white, gray illustrations accented with red are energetic and expressive. And, Splat himself is quite a lovable character. In fact, illustrator Rob Scotton created the award-winning cat in 2004, and, in England, he decorates calendars, tableware, cards, and diaries. Perhaps his next adventures will have a fuller dimension.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Splat felt when he woke up on what was to be his first day of school, and why his tail "wiggled wildly with worry." What made him feel so nervous? What kind of excuses did he make as his mom tried to get him out the door and to his class? Have you ever felt like he did? What kind of excuses did you make? Do you think it was a good idea for Splat to take Seymour to class? Do you have anything special that you would take with you to school to make you feel better? Why would it help?