Poppy cat by Sara Acton

cover image

Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9781743620168.
(Age: 4-6) Recommended, Cats, Family. Sara Acton's distinctive illustrative style beckons the reader from the first lovely endpapaer showing the cat, Poppy Cat, coming through the cat door. The spin on the words copy cat reveals itself from the first page as we see the young girl doing things which her cat copies. The girl walks through the house with a feather on a string, followed by the cat, then she dresses herself with the cat crawling under the mats on the floor. She goes to breakfast spilling milk over the table, emulated by the cat splashing milk from her bowl on the floor.
Her antics are followed through the day but when she walks through the paint and puts blue paw prints across the floor, it is time to be by herself under the couch, while at the end of the day, she is loved, the girl and her cat curling up together on the couch.
The warmth shown between the child and her cat parallel that of the whole family, where the child is loved and valued, despite what she has done. The warm soft watercolour illustrations suit the story admirably, giving expression to the story of the young girl and her cat. The simple line drawings are filled with muted colour sometimes done in splotches which carry the image being presented. I love the image o the cat trying to catch the raindrops as they fall down the window, the cat stretching up and the drops slithering down, and the last endpaper with the cat stalking off leaving its blue par prints across the white expanse is simply beguiling.
Fran Knight