Walker Books, 2019
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
High in an apartment at the top of a tall building in one of the world’s busiest cities Sophie lives with her parents and her pet cat that she called Jimi-My-Jim. She loves Jimi-My-Jim dearly and spoils him in every possible way. But Jimi-My-Jim is not happy – for all that he has all the things a cat could want, the one thing he desires most is a cat friend. But there is no way out of the apartment and as he watches the world go by from the apartment window for hours and hours, days and days, he begins to go flat. Soon, hHe even looked as flat as he feels
Then one day, he finds a way to escape and he finds himself in the world of the city and its “fat cats, cool cats, jazz cats, boss cats, scaredy cats, alley cats, cat burglars, cat-nappers and even a few dogs who thought they were the cat”s whiskers.”
But is this a new life for Jimi-My-Jim or is he destined to be a Flat Cat watching on from the window for ever?
This is an intriguing book for young readers who love cats and who will adore the amazing, distinctive artwork that helps to tell Jimi-My-Jim’s tale. But there is also an undertone of whether it’s right to keep animals in places where they are cooped up all day and can’t access the outdoors. And whether things are a substitute for getting outside, friendship and all the other stuff that a wider world can offer.
And it brings to mind T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the foundation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. Perhaps it could be an entry point into those poems starting with Macavity’s Not There! Nothing like getting our youngest readers into worlds perhaps considered beyond them via a genuine bridge!