Miaow! by Mick Inkpen

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Miaow! by Mick Inkpen
Buy Miaow! from Amazon.co.uk

Buy Miaow! from Amazon.com

Genre: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The perennially popular Kipper tries to rescue a kitten from a tree in this robust and delightful board book for the one to three year olds.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 16 Date: July 2007
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340945148

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Kipper the dog and Tiger were out looking for conkers when they heard a strange sound.

Miaow!

There was a kitten in the conker tree. Kipper climbed onto Tiger's shoulders (they're not very high as he's only a miniature schnauzer) and grabbed the nearest branch - which promptly broke, bringing down quite a few conkers. It's not conkers that Kipper is worried about though - it's that rather bemused kitten sitting in the tree.

Kipper went off to get his blanket to catch the kitten. Tiger stayed behind to keep an eye on the tiny animal - and counted what are now his conkers. On his way back with the blanket Kipper met Pig and his cousin Arnold and brought them along to help rescue the kitten. The kitten wasn't too keen on jumping into the outstretched blanket and it was Arnold (who says very little) who spotted that there was a way to climb up the middle of the tree. He gently stroked the kitten and then showed him how to jump into the blanket. When the kitten stood up Kipper was convinced that it was going to jump, but instead...

Well, I'm not going to tell you! It neatly illustrates that cats are really very clever and that dogs (and possibly even pigs) do not always see what is obvious. It's a lovely story with a happy and rather amusing ending. The characters are endearing and don't always get things right. But then Kipper will already be a good friend to a lot of children who know that just like them he tries his best but still makes some mistakes.

The book reads aloud beautifully and that is what matters for the one to three-year-olds. It's not just that it's pleasanter for the parent to read words that flow, it's more interesting for the child. It's a better experience all round. The vocabulary is neatly pitched at this younger end of the market without being patronising. But the joy of all Mick Inkpen books is the standard of the illustrations. They're beautifully clear in slightly muted colours and with just enough detail on each page to encourage discussion beyond the basic story. What are conkers? How were the friends going to catch the kitten? Why didn't the kitten jump?

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag.

This is a board book too, with gently rounded corners that won't hurt plump little hands. It's robust and will stand quite a lot of inexperienced handling. For another board book featuring animals you might like to look at Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough or the ever popular Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.

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