Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Amazing Mr Zooty! By Emma Chichester Clark (Andersen Children's Books)

With an eye-catching cover, we couldn't resist picking up "Amazing Mr Zooty!" on our recent library trawl. We really love anything Emma Chichester-Clark is involved in (her Plumdog Blog is required reading and I keep hoping it's going to end up turned into a book collection one day. I'd buy it in a heartbeat!)

Here though we're not concerned with dogs, but cats. One particular cat, in fact - The Amazing Mr Zooty!

What's so amazing about him (aside from his eye-popping yellow jersey with a big Z on it, and his eye popping yellow eyes!) He's a little bit magical, in the line of Willy Wonka, with a subtle soup├žon of Mr Majeika too.

When he sees a poor family, dressed in ragged clothing, feeding the ducks in the park, Mr Zooty decides to act. Dressing himself as a down-on-his-luck fellow, Mr Zooty asks them if they have any spare change. All the children have are the three leaves they have gathered, but they still happily give them to the poor moggy to bring him luck.

Zooty pretends to pass out, and the family, concerned for his well being, drag him all the way back to their little shabby flat (We actually thought Mr Zooty was a bit mean here, expecting the poor family to haul him all the way up a huge flight of stairs on a clapped out pushchair before telling them who he really was!)

Mr Zooty grants the family three wishes (well three-ish, Mr Zooty has a habit of 'thinking of things' to add to each wish) and soon they're eating delicious pancakes, gaining a magical purse and then the little girl lucy's wish is granted...

...but we'll leave you to discover that one yourself. "The Amazing Mr Zooty" is pure fantasy, beautifully told and illustrated, and such a feelgood book that you'll feel like cuddling it at the end. We love discovering obscure books like this in our library. Look out for Mr Zooty in yours!

Charlotte's best bit: Mr Zooty's pancakes. So yummy looking!

Daddy's favourite bit: Emma's illustrations are always an absolute treat. Zooty is brilliant!

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