by Jonathon Long
'There once was a cat with a
terrible itch. She had a flea in her fur which was making her twitch.'
THE CAT THAT SCRATCHED is a
wonderfully funny rhyming story about a cat's attempt to rid herself of a flea:
Bright, frenzied illustrations and rhyming couplets tell the tale of a tabby cat's eccentric efforts at removing a flea. THE CAT THAT SCRATCHED has the exaggeration and balance of a Tom and Jerry cartoon, except that it's a flea which is the cat's challenger, not a mouse. The flea is so wonderfully irritating in appearance, that his brutal demise goes unmourned; but the reader is left with an inexplicable itch...
THE OXFORD TIMES 20 JAN 95, Janet Porter
Life is lived at great speed these days; children expect fast animation and frenetic movement on TV and in films and video games. If this applies to the media, then books are not far behind. THE CAT THAT SCRATCHED (like THE DOG THAT DUG, by the same authors) is packed with action, to the point of exhaustion if it is read through without a break. If however, each page can be treated like a frozen frame, there is so much to see in the illustrations that the mind has to slow down, and will be well rewarded by the amazing detail.
The story is about an itchy cat, pestered by a flea. The cat's scratching and his endeavours to rid himself of the flea cause havoc in many everyday activities, disasters to himself -and little harm to the flea! Eventually, the flea transfers himself to a lion who makes short shrift of him, and the two 'cats' become friends.
The accompanying verse is terse and witty and with a refrain that children like. The pictures and text run in parallel, so to speak, each telling the story, so there is a feeling of completeness.
Most children will love this book, though there are others who may prefer a 'quieter' tale as their route to reading. An Excellent production, exciting and funny.
The rhyming text and Korky Paul's extraordinary illustrations describe a cat's desperate attempts to get rid of an unwanted guest - a flea! There's a real sense of movement in the drawings that forces a quick first reading of the story, but there's so much more in the detailed and hilarious illustrations to revisit time and time again.
The cat tries everything possible to get rid of the flea but every attempt ends with the lines: 'ha ha ha' came a voice, all tiny and teasy. ' To get rid of me won't be nearly that easy.'
In the end it is a lion who solves the problem and the cat realises she should have trusted her family to help her in the first place.
CHILD EDUCATION JUNE 95, Wendy Cooling