1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
To Be A Cat,
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This review is from: To Be A Cat (Hardcover)
My whole family have read this book and we all look at our cat a little bit differently now. My daughters read it first (11 & 7 yrs old) and they both loved it and nagged me until I read it too. Matt Haig has the ability to talk to children without patronising them, the language he uses is quite sophisticated, which is what children want. The book is about a boy called Barney Willow, a 12 year old boy who's not having the best of times; his dad has disappeared, he's being bullied at school and his evil headmistress hates him. He thinks his life would be much easier if he were a cat but soon finds out that's not the case.
The book is full of great characters; from his best friend Rissa, who lives on a barge and is 'bully-proof' to his evil headmistress, Miss Whipmire, who keeps her pencils in a cat's skull, as well as all the other cats he meets and his dog, Guster, a King Charles spaniel who seems to think he IS King Charles.
It appeals to children because it has cats and nasty boys who wet themselves and a woman who kills cats so that she can use their skulls to hold her pens in. As a parent I like that the book deals with bullying and fitting in and the overall theme of being happy with who you are is very subtle, the book doesn't preach at you, it is like Freaky Friday but with cats. I especially like how the author pops up every so often to have his say, something that would normally annoy me in a book, but in this case it works. In the last chapter he tells the reader that they are 'brilliant', something I think we should tell our children, and ourselves, every day. Well worth a read.