Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett

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Two Hoots Books (Macmillan), 2018. ISBN 9781509857272
(Ages: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Animals. Squirrels. Friendship. I love Kate Greenaway award winner, Emily Gravett's look at the world. Old hat (2018) shows a variance of the expression old hat as Harbert tries to please his friends not himself, while Again! (2016) had me in stitches with the child asking for the story to be read over and over again. Her perspective on life is delightful, drawing in the readers to a new way of looking.
And Cyril and Pat is no exception. Cyril is the only squirrel in Lake Park, and is lonely. That is until he meets Pat. Readers will quickly see that Cyril and Pat are not the same sort of animal, and will be delighted as the story progresses, other animals trying to tell Cyril of his mistake. But they do everything together: riding the skateboard, frightening the pigeons, hide and seek under the coffee cups littering the park, until one day a child tells his Mum about the rat. Cyril is dismayed and all the other animals reiterate that he should not be friends with a dirty, thieving rat. Cyril is alone and his games are not as interesting any more. One day he is chased by Slim the dog. He is chased out of the park, across the road and into the dark alleyway. Here the dog taunts him, but looking up sees that Pat has returned with a horde of his relatives. The situation is saved and Pat and Cyril resume their strong friendship in the park.
A delightful read aloud, Cyril and Pat has a lot to say about appearance and advice from friends, a big issue amongst smaller people. The funny book will led to many discussions about friendship and what makes a good friend and why we are hampered by thinking about appearance.
Many books offer a similar theme, but few with the humour and fun of Cyril and Pat.
Fran Knight