The Little Cat and the Greedy Old Woman; You're Somebody Special, Walliwags!
Digital version – browse, print or download
Receive the latest news & reviews direct to your inbox!
This issue’s cover is from a stunning new picture book, Mary’s Secret by David McKee (Andersen Press, 0 86264 909 9, £9.99). An ecological fable about doing without cars, McKee’s story with its bright pictures full of well observed detail is set within Mary’s cheerful family and at her school. His bold, painterly illustrations use the page so confidently and dextrously that their quirky, decorative perspectives seem entirely natural. Thanks to Andersen Press for their help in producing this September cover.
The Little Cat and the Greedy Old Woman
You're Somebody Special, Walliwags!
If you enjoyed Rankin’s Wow! It’s Great Being a Duck (and if you don’t know it, do find it, it is an amazing read-aloud) then You’re Somebody Special, Walliwags! will also find a place in your heart. The proud mother hen of the cover illustration at last has a chick and she loves it dearly. Walliwags is in fact a great black cockatoo, but nevertheless, Mum thinks he is gorgeous. He ends up being carried off to the Institute of Ornithology by Professor Beak, where he is told he is an endangered species. From here he writes an affectionate letter home to Mother Hen, who is heartbroken, inconsolable.
In The Little Cat and the Greedy Old Woman , the old woman works hard all day preparing herself a very special meal but she ignores the little cat with the tiny voice who meows for food. When the cat can bear it no longer and helps himself to a teeny tiny taste, he is unceremoniously shooed out into the rain. But suddenly he grows bigger and bigger until… What happens next is quite strong stuff, and children may love it more than adults, feeling the old woman has her just deserts. This story has the feel of a cautionary tale, and could provide lots of interesting discussions.
Rankin’s pictures have an individual style, with wet paper technique and a soft colour range ( the expressions on the hens’ faces are hysterical). She uses the page inventively and her different-sized fonts and speech bubbles add an extra layer to her stories.