Posted in Review

Review: I Don’t Know What To Call My Cat

Next in the reviews is “I Don’t Know What To Call My Cat” written by Simon Philip and illustrated by Ella Bailey.

My Rating: 6 out of 10

My Son’s Rating: 10 out of 10

A book which should be aimed at young children but the prose is clearly more for the adults. You should never judge a book by its cover, but if I had to I would hands down, pick this as my favourite ever book because the illustrations are so captivating, the style and colour schemes are what every illustrator should strive for. The idea that a young girl needs to name her cat feels like what was missing from my childhood. Being a huge cat fan and never owning one until I bought a house!

As soon as I saw this book, I knew it had to have a place on my children’s bookshelf and so I made that happen.

It’s a story about a very naive girl who comes across a cat and attempts to give it a name. I feel it starts off strong but loses its way mid-way through and almost feels like two short stories. Without spoiling the ending, I was a little disappointed with how the cat is eventually named, in my opinion, it detracted from the whole point of the story. The problem with the story was that the first part was as the title reflected, then it suddenly switched to the girl looking after a gorilla for no reason other than her being incredibly naive. This is where I feel the text was intended for parents, to give them a smirk essentially. It works OK, but the ideas within the book went over my son’s head, so it’s like the story was pointless to him. If I have to explain a basic concept to him then something is not right with the story – am I right?

I’m not sure why but some of the text seemed to skip between plain to bold, yes I know typically bold signifies emphasis but it wasn’t consistent, sometimes it just wasn’t needed.

I may be nitpicking here, but a big bugbear of mine is that there were no parents in the story, not even in the background and there’s a point where she looks for the cat, and the pedantic in me thinks her parents would surely help. Then again, due to her naivety, maybe it’s best to think she’s so wrapped up in her own thoughts and ideas that adding parents would ruin the illusion.

Moving on to some positives, you do feel sorry for the girl when the cat goes missing, and she talks about how she blames herself which I find a mature theme, but it does help children identify feelings and emotions, so I was pleased to see it in this story. It’s told in a first person’s perspective, and because of the mixture of pure innocence and the mature text it felt almost dreamlike as a story, like if she had woken up towards the end it would have all made a nice kind of sense.

My Son’s comments: I like this book, it is cool!



As any reviewer will tell you, do your homework, and the results will pay off, so homework is what I did. If you feel I’ve missed something, please let me know. I’ve got notes upon notes of what to put in and leave out. Likewise, if it’s too long or too short do let me know. I’m refining this skill little by little every day.