Snug by Michael Morpurgo
Cute as a button!
No one ever gave Lisa her pussycat Snug, they just grew up together. Well, technically Snug arrived first, but Lisa has always been Snug’s favourite even when she was a baby. So what will she do when Snug, who’s always turned up for tea before, disappears?
The feeling I always get whenever I read a Michael Morpurgo is that’s it’s more truthful than other stories about animals. Snug isn’t just a lapcat purring on someone’s lap; he hunts, he chases, he fights, he eats birds eggs – he’s a real pusscat. He’s also real in that it’s sadly very easy for a pussycat to go missing and Morpurgo, as per usual, is absolutely truthful when he writes about that too, including the ways a pussycat can get hurt. One of the things I admire most about Morpurgo’s writing is that he never dumbs it down for kids.
This all makes it sound terribly grim but honestly, it’s not. It’s a cute story about a little girl who loves her cat (despite his habit of eating birds) and worries when he goes AWOL. It’s very matter of fact without scrimping on Snug’s pussycat personality (and Snug, like most pussy cats, appears to have plenty of that!). I especially love the little bit about Snug never seeming to get into trouble, which makes him either a coward or a champ!
As with other Barrington Stoke books in the Little Gems series, this book has extra bonuses under the flaps of the cover, with the front concealing cat facts and the back cover hiding a maze.
A sweet little read with some truly aw-worthy illustrations – I’m already going to see if illustrator Faye Hanson does prints! And, as with any Barrington Stoke book, this book has both a reading age and an interest age, so in this case an RA of 6 and an IA of 5-8.
Find Snug here