Friday, 6 September 2013

Mog and Bunny and Other Stories by Judith Kerr (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Mog and Bunny and Other Stories

Written and Illustrated by
Dame Judith Kerr

Published by
HarperCollins Children's Books

How we love Mog. Charlotte has grown up with Judith Kerr's utterly wonderful cat - so perfectly observed and illustrated - and with such a huge back catalogue of brilliant Mog stories to choose from it's brilliant to see three of the best gathered together in the same book here. It's hard to believe that Mog made her debut back in 1970,

"Mog and Bunny" is probably one of our favourite Mog stories, and it tells the simple tale of Mog and her new toy. Bunny, a rather plain little stuffed rabbit, is a huge hit with Mog - who decides that Bunny should go everywhere with her.

Naturally, after being Mog's best friend for a while, Bunny begins to get a little tatty. Mog's owners would quite happily consign Bunny to the bin but seeing Mog's reaction when Bunny goes missing one day makes them think again.

"Mog and the V.E.T" is the second story in the book and is, by far, our favourite Mog story of all (in fact we find it impossible to say "Vet" without spelling it out like Mog's sneaky owners do in this tale!).

Mog hurts her paw one day while frolicking in the garden. Despite a sniff and a lick, the paw doesn't get any better so it's time to visit that most dreaded place, the V.E.T. No finer observation of pet behaviour when faced with a visit to the vets has surely ever been recorded in a children's picture book. I rather love the fact that Judith Kerr gets to exercise her taste for the surreal in this one, when Mog has a lovely dream - and when the Vet has a rather harrowing nightmare (you'll see why on both counts). Funny, beautifully told and easily one of the best Mog stories ever!

Finally the book wraps up with "Mog and the Granny". This time Mog is off to stay with a lovely and adventuresome little old lady (who I imagine is a lot like you'd imagine Judith Kerr to be). She has a cat of her own, so while Mog's family are enjoying themselves on a trip to the U.S.A, Mog wonders what on earth to do about her new playmate - who is a little bit too enthusiastic for games and japes at times.

There's a lovely moment in this story where Mog gets a postcard from the family which "Smells of Debbie" - Again, beautiful observation of cat behaviour proving that Kerr really knows her subject so well.

This is a brilliant collection that'll introduce you to Mog (though I'm a bit puzzled why the original book wasn't included here - perhaps the assumption was that so many people would already have that, but not these three?) and Judith Kerr's expert eye for detail and moggy behaviour.

Charlotte's best bit: The crazy vet "nightmare" in "Mog and the V.E.T" (which always makes us giggle)

Daddy's Favourite bit: There are just so many moments in these stories where, as cat lovers, we went "That is SO what our cats used to do!" Judith Kerr really is legendary!

(Kindly sent to us for review by HarperCollins Children's Books)