BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Wigglesbottom Primary: The Classroom Cat (available here)
Author: Pamela Butchart
Illustrator: Becka Moor
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Publication Date: July 2019
Most Suitable For: Years 2 & 3
Reviewed by: Jacqueline Harris, Literacy Consultant
The Classroom Cat is one in a series of books about Wigglesbottom Primary but it can also be read on its own. It contains three short stories about a class of Year 2 children who, it must be said, seemed remarkably familiar. Pamela Butchart is actually a secondary school teacher, but she must have visited one of my classrooms to create such accurate portraits of the children!
Each short story is delightfully silly and bound to make you want to laugh at the implacable logic behind the children’s thinking. In the short story with the same title as the book, the children decide the cat is trying to warn them about school dinners. Many children will recognise the feelings of dread about a particular school dinner offering and wonder how they can get out of eating it. In another story called The Puddle Crisp, one child does something particularly gross and appears to be suffering directly from doing it. The children escalate the sense of impending doom in a delightfully crazy way. In the third story, Imaginary Margaret, a school trip is viewed with the addition of an imaginary friend, who one child persuades everybody is real.
The stories are illustrated with the same enthusiasm as the writing, with lively, three-coloured pictures that dance across the pages.
This book is great for newly independent readers, as it looks like a chapter book but has small amounts of text on the page and short, manageable stories. I can see it being tremendously popular with younger children and would also work well being read aloud.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Jacqueline for reviewing it.
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