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Now this is a real book . . . a real book being one that is multi-layered, that offers something to any reader, child or adult, and that gives you far more than at first appears. Fred qualifies absolutely. Any Guardian reader of longer than a year's standing will tell you that the paper has gone sadly downhill since Posy Simmonds stopped being a regular weekly contributor. Her wicked cartoon strips of life among the educated middle classess were one of the great delights of the week. But now here she is writing ostensibly for children. All I can say is rush out and buy it even if you haven't so much as a baby to give you an excuse. This strip cartoon format story of the demise of Fred the family moggie is an absolute delight. Full of pathos, wildly funny, touching and comforting, it will intrigue, entertain and amuse. The detail in the drawings and the absolutely right characterisation of both people and cats are matched by an original and thoughtful storyline. There are few comic books that could also help one to come to terms with death. This is one. Don't miss it.