This new illustrated series for children introduces Murray, a typically lazy cat who belongs to a totally useless wizard and is very reluctant to do anything beyond snoozing, napping and sleeping.
Murray’s peace and quiet is shattered when another mistake from his wizard owner – Fumblethumb – causes a delicious sticky bun to morph with a rabbit, resulting in a brand new friend for Murray… Bun! Bun is everything that Murray is not. He is excitable, energetic and desperate for adventure and he is the source of much hilarity as he leaps around the pages screaming ‘Bun!’ as loud as he can, getting frequently stuck to things.
As if this noisy intruder wasn’t bad enough, Fumblethumb makes Murray’s life even more miserable by accidentally enchanting the cat flap, transforming it into a magical portal to an endless number of adventure zones. This terrible news for Murray unlocks limitless potential for the series: every time Murray and Bun leave the catflap, they’re transported to another exciting place and time.
In this curtain-opener, Murray and Bun’s journey through the cat flap takes them to an archetypal Viking village, full of huge, hairy, horn-helmeted brutes. The curious pair are mistaken for troll-hunters (albeit somewhat small ones) and are charged with trekking to the gobble-you-up-woods to find the lost Viking, Eggrik. On their journey they face the terrifying chasm of certain death and the world’s longest (and funniest) longship but, fortunately, Bun’s energy is limitless and his ability to leap about getting stuck to things proves to be surprisingly useful.
Though their story is a simple one, Murray and Bun pack plenty into the pages of this comic adventure story. There are brilliant visual gags that stretch over multiple pages, as well as clever word play and gorgeous gross-out moments (troll-nostril carrots, anyone?!). Most enjoyable of all are Stower’s trademark playful illustrations, which are full of life and chaotic movement.
There’s not enough time in this first outing for readers to really get to know Murray as much as they’d like. His contrasting character to the zestful Bun has potential for lots more laughs and there is something immediately charming about a lazy hero with no sense of adventure. Fortunately, Murray’s cat flap leads to literally anywhere, so it is likely readers won’t have to wait long to get to know him a little better.