Thursday, 27 February 2014

A Purrfect Tale of Love and Differences.

“Learn to love your differences because they are a part of who you are. They make you purrfect!”
Sherlock Bk 1 Front CoverSherlock Cat
“Sherlock, the Cat Who Couldn’t Meow” is the latest children’s book released by Vickianne Caswell, cover art design by Anastasia Drogaitseva. Where Vickianne’s book series to date have been picture books for pre-schoolers and perhaps the beginning school years,  (please see my previous reviews, ) this is her first venture into short chapter books  for 6-10 year olds.
Vickianne has written another winner. She has written characters to not only fall in love with but who have a message to share with their readers.  Sherlock is a hardworking cat by day that studies to further his education and qualifications at night, but he is somewhat shy and a little ashamed because hard as he may try, he cannot meow. Imaginae a cat that can’t meow! He is laughed at and teased by bullies he has known since his school days. He doesn’t know how to make friends with the new cat in town, he’s so frightened that she’ll laugh too when she finds out his horrible secret. How he confronts his issues of self doubt and lack of confidence is cleverly portrayed through everyday situations that children can relate to and understand, with a little help from a bit of magic thrown in to develop the imagination and increase the adventure along the way.
However, there is so much more to this book than just the story. Vickianne has included at the end of the book three quotes from Sherlock which clearly demonstrate the moral to the story, just in case you don’t get it upon reading, but I have no doubt that you will.
There is also a glossary of unfamiliar words for the targeted age group. This is a marvelous idea, no need to go racing for a dictonary, the words are already there at your finger tips.
Included is also extra reading material with a few fun animal facts as well as the words to the song sung during the story by CJ, the English Lop Bunny who owns the bakery where Sherlock works.
As the story is all about cats and other adorable pets, Vickianne has also included her thoughts on considerations before buying a pet for yourself or adopting one from an animal shelter. Some very wise food for thought indeed.
If you are looking for an early, easy reader that the whole family will enjoy together, then you can’t go past “Sherlock the Cat Who Couldn’t Meow.” It is sensitive, poignant and inspirational along with raising some great issues for parental or classroom discussion. I highly recommend Vickianne Caswell’s latest edition to her repotoire of clever and delightful children’s tales.

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