Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Can't Catch Me by Timothy Knapman and Simona Ciraolo (Walker Books)

Meet an annoyingly smug mouse, and a sly and clever cat in this race and chase with a most satisfying ending...
Normally we don't like to give away the endings of books, but it might be nigh on impossible to extol the virtues of "Can't Catch Me" without doing so.

Did you ever watch Tom and Jerry cartoons as a kid, and always wish that once - just once - Tom would catch that annoying mouse and eat him for supper?

Then you'll definitely love "Can't Catch Me" by the dream team of Timothy Knapman and Simona Ciraolo.

The mouse in this story is braggardly, gloating and insufferably smug. He's the fastest mouse on the block and he easily runs rings around the cat who is constantly trying to catch him.

Mouse gets bored easily, and decides that the puss no longer presents a challenge, so it's time to take a trip out into the wider world to see if anyone else can match his speed and tenacity.

Fox may try, and fail, to catch a tasty mouse-sized snack
Fox thinks he's in with a chance - but he's too slow.

Poor cat. But don't feel too sorry for him just yet, he's got a plan
Even a big grizzly bear thinks he can bag himself a mouseburger, but once again mouse slips through his grasp.

When he returns home after defeating the best the animal kingdom has to offer, Mouse finds poor cat looking very old, tired and thin. But cat's brain isn't old or tired, and he still might have a plan to bag that annoying mouse once and for all.

Brilliantly paced, feeling a lot like the classic "The Gingerbread Man" replacing a tasty human-shaped biscuit with a not-so-tasty furry rodent, it's still a very entertaining story with some glorious illustrations to drive along the fast paced narrative.

Charlotte's best bit: Cat might be tied up in knots at the beginning by this sneaky mouse, but who will have the last laugh?

Daddy's favourite bit: A nice twist on the classic "The Gingerbread Man" idea with a cat-and-mouse chase across the countryside, and a fabulously satisfying ending.

(Kindly supplied for review)

"Can't Catch Me" by Timothy Knapman and Simona Ciraolo is out now, published by Walker Books.