The King Cat & Mr Mistoffelees

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The King Cat
Marta Altés
Macmillan Children’s Books
The feline narrator of this story has had things pretty much his own way for a very long time. He does however provide occasional entertainment and regular nocturnal protective duty for his ‘people’ in return for being left to slumber during the daytime, not to mention a little bit of relaxation therapy proffered by human hands. All in all life couldn’t be better for this – in his own words – GOOD, SUPER CUTE king.
Then one morning without so much as a by your leave, everything changes.

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The rules of the kingdom are upheld no longer.

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Time to reinforce the status quo decides our erstwhile domestic king and before long peace and normality are restored. So why does the realm seem so quiet – too quiet perhaps with the old rules back in place.
Oh! what’s that …

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Maybe some negotiation could work after all …
I love the droll illustrations and straightforward manner of telling of this comic tale of domestic rivalry. Indeed it could well be a metaphor for sibling rivalry with the arrival of a new infant in the household. Don’t forget to look closely at the details in fore- and endpapers for the story really begins and ends thereon.

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Mr. Mistoffelees
T.S. Eliot and Arthur Robins
Faber & Faber Children’s Books pbk
We’ve already been treated to Arthur Robins’ hilarious illustrative rendition of Macavity; now it’s the turn of the Mr. Mistoffelees the ‘Original Conjuring Cat’ to take centre stage and that is exactly what he does. In close up we view a performance of his confusion-causing illusions,

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of one kind … and another.
This small black feline character takes us through his whole repertoire of sleights of hand and more,

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while deceiving us all that his sole occupation is mouse-hunting . And as for shyness –well that’s what he’d have us believe but

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we know better.
Even I, with my cat allergy and phobia find this Mr M. totally irresistible, which only goes to prove that he truly is, as Arthur Robins has so admirably shown, ‘Magical Mr. Mistoffelees’.

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The five year old maker of this puppet certainly thought so too.


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