on 20 July 2006
I recently bought this book for my son's 5th birthday. He's just getting beyond the simple short toddler/early reader books and I was looking for a book that was slightly longer and more involved. This book fits the bill perfectly. In 11 short chapters the story unfolds about the mysterous pet-knapping involving the Gaskitt family and their cat, Horace.
My two boys (3 & 5) can't wait until the next night for the next chapter. I have taken to hiding the book because my 5 year old keeps having sneaky little reads every time I put the book down.
I will be buying several additional copies of this book to give as birthday presents over the next year. We shall also have to get some more of the Gaskitt Family books. I expect they will become firm family favourites.
This is an absolute corker of a story. Appealing to both boys and girls in equal measure (the Gaskitt family have twin boy and girl) this is a perfect mix of picture book and paperback to seamlessly slide the child who rejects back-and-white paperbacks into longer chapter stories without them realising. This book is different, as Ahlberg so often is, and it's like a starter detective story for the young child: what is that suspicious man doing with the pram, and what has happened to the missing animals and why is Mrs Gaskitt always in bed, eating odd things? The whole book is choc full of colourful interesting pictures, amusing illustrated maps, diagrams/coincidences/humorous asides that keep both parent and a sofaful-of-children entertained long past bedtime. Of the Gaskitt series that I have come across (man/clothes; woman/won things; children/smelt rat) my children (4&6) and I agree this is the very best. Fantastic.
on 27 September 2006
This is an absolutely fantastic book, just like all the others in the Gaskitt's series. These books have turned my very reluctant reader son into avid reader (for this type of zany book). They are SO entertaining and my kids giggle all the way through. The pictures are fab and my kids especially love the little asides of the clock and the radio etc. and the relationship between Horrace the cat and his buddies. I have heard a rumour that there will be 6 Gaskitt's books in total. We have the first four and I will certainly be buying any more the minute (second!) they are published!! Bravo Allan Ahlberg for yet another superb children's classic!!!