Tag Archives: bragging

Can’t Catch Me!

Can’t Catch Me!
Timothy Knapman and Simona Ciraolo
Walker Books
Meet Jake, the fastest mouse in the world so we’re told, and Old Tom Cat – he looks pretty formidable, at least in Simona Ciraolo’s opening portrait of him. Tom has designs on Jake as his next tasty tidbit; but however many knots the old moggy ties himself into to that end, Jake manages to elude him. All poor Tom succeeds in geting is a rumbly tum and a thinner body, and a whole lot of taunting from a certain mouse as he runs off out of the garden and into the fields beyond.
Pretty soon Jake encounters a fox. That too has hunger pangs and a space in his tummy for a little mouse.

Can’t catch me!” brags Jake as he dashes through the cornfield and on into a wood leaving the pursuing fox far behind.
In the wood, lives a wolf and guess what? It too fancies a “juicy young mouse” to eat. Despite the fact it ‘sprinted and sprang’, that wolf just could not catch the boastful Jake.

Nor could the roaring bear he next comes across, even though it lunges and leaps at the rodent who manages to spring right across a chasm and end up (after going all around the world) right back where he started …

Now there’s an old saying, ‘everything comes to he who waits’ and so it is here; I’ll say no more.
There are echoes of the Gingerbread Man in this stonker of a story; but Timothy Knapman has taken the bones of the traditional tale and created a snappy spin-off that is certain to go down well with young listeners (if mine are anything to go by) who will relish its denouement. Simona Ciraolo’s scenes of showing off, sprinting and strutting speak even louder than all Knapman’s wonderful dialogue. This is another genius author/illustrator pairing.

I’ve signed the charter



Ben Newman
Flying Eye Books
No one is as brave as me and nothing scares me … you’ll see!” That’s the claim of the tiny stick-wielding character on the first spread of Ben Newman’s latest offering. (If you’re familiar with the awesome Professor Astro Cat books you’ll recognise him as their illustrator.)


Turn the page and you’ll immediately see this is far from true …


and then it’s a case of a series of claims to be the wearer of the ‘bravest’ mantle as an owl, a mischievous monkey, a toothsome, jaw -snapping croc, a leaping tiger …


and finally, a stampeding elephant all BOO! the previous pretender clean off the page.
Abolutely no one is as brave as me and nothing scares me!” asserts the latter super-confidently. Make no mistake about it; he does NOT have the final word …
Such a satisfying circularity herein and part of the fun is in the anticipation of the next BOO and the hooting, giggling, growling, snorting opportunities presented as each animal introduces itself. Oh, and that ‘nothing scares me … you’ll see!’ is repeated by each claimant, making it ideal for beginning readers to join in with on subsequent sharings of which, I foresee, there will be many.
Stylish and oodles of fun!