Review Blog

Aug 31 2016

The cat wants custard by P Crumble

cover image

Ill. by Lucinda Gifford. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760155780
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Cats, Humour, Likes and dislikes. The cat that stares out of each page demanding custard will immediately remind the readers of the cats they know about: those at home or in neighbours' yards. The haughty, self involved expression on its face is a give away that he is just like all other cats, self absorbed and the centre of their own universes.
He wants custard, and when called to the kitchen for his tea, runs through the possibilities of what the woman will give him. He rejects many offerings: chicken and gravy, beef, pigs' ears, sardines, and thinks just about custard. He tries to tell the woman how much he wants custard by miming the word, thinking about it so that she will think about it too, and spelling out the words with his body. He sits by the fridge all night trying different things, willing the door to open, but all to no avail, he falls asleep. But during the night the woman comes along for a snack and leaves the door open. His dream has come to fruition, he leaps into the fridge and finds a bowl of custard but a big surprise waits for him.
The book with its wonderful illustrations of a manic cat will initiate discussions about likes and dislikes, about what to do when asking parents for something that you like, what to do if offered food that it not to your taste, and so on. The story humorously depicts the cat and its antics designed to get the food it wants, and then the author turns the story on its head with a funny twist which will ensure the readers dissolve in laughter.
Fran Knight

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