A Cat’s Christmas Carol by Sam Hay & Helen Shoesmith

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Published by Simon & Schuster, 2019.

This is a terrific Christmas book and one which we’ve read over and over since receiving it. It’s set in a department store on Christmas Eve, after the shop has shut. Clawdia, the security guard’s cat, is prowling the floors on the lookout for mice. She is not in the slightest bit excited about Christmas. Three chilly mice sneak in through an open window and soon Clawdia is hot on their heels, ignoring their pleas for a warm welcome.

The animals tear around the store, knocking over displays and wreaking havoc. It’s exciting and lots of fun. We particularly enjoyed the scene where one of the mice is riding the toy train to escape Clawdia’s clutches.

At different points in the story, a mouse prompts Clawdia to reflect on her life. First, on her past: Clawdia remembers being a homeless kitten, cold and seeking shelter – just like the mice are now. Then Clawdia thinks about how lovely it would be to spend Christmas as part of a family. Finally, with the arrival of a robotic cat, Clawdia sees the grim future she might have if she were replaced. These glimpses into the past, present and future neatly remind us of the original A Christmas Carol story. 

638020A9-80AB-4FAC-A0E0-D92B70A7E8B3Helen Shoesmith’s illustrations are brilliant; Clawdia and the mice are really great characters and there’s so much to look at in the pictures. We particularly loved searching for the three mice in each scene. The colour palette is predominantly red, green and white – it’s so lovely and festive! The story is engaging and full of warmth. Only the chase scenes are told in rhyme and this works really well as it matches the pace of the action.

A Cat’s Christmas Carol is a heartwarming Christmas picture book with a lovely message of Christmas being best spent among friends.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 3+

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me this book to review.

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