Review Blog

Sep 20 2015

The cat with the coloured tail by Gillian Mears

cover image

Ill. Dinalie Dabarera. Walker Books, 2015. ISBN 9781922077400
(Ages: 6+) Recommended. Gillian Mears is known for her previous fiction for adults, in particular the award-winning Foal's Bread. The jacket tells us that Mears was inspired to tell this story while travelling through the South Australian mallee country in her converted 'ambo camper'. From the opening page, the reader is fascinated by the ice-cream truck; its shape, and the type of ice creams on offer - Moon Creams. The cat with the coloured tail is especially intriguing - he senses the distress of others and can see when the world is in danger, indeed his tail changes colour. Together Mr Hooper and the cat change lives as they journey with the ice cream van - this story is a fable, magical and lyrical. There are all the ingredients of a fairy tale, given extra liveliness with the gentle and evocative illustrations of muted and coloured shades, some wonderful verse and the song-like descriptions. This is a joyful, lovely little book, beautifully designed in hardback and offering a rewarding environmental message. This would work well as a family or classroom read aloud.
Julie Wells

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