By Hannah Schenker
Goodness gracious, what do I see? The kitten has climbed the Christmas tree! Climbed so high and climbed so far. To cling with her claws to the Christmas star.
Have you seen those funny videos doing the rounds on the internet of cats accidentally destroying Christmas trees? Unable to resist the glints and flashes of tinsel and irresistibly dangly decorations, they start to play! Well you can think of this as a picture book version of that for kids – a cute wee kitten has managed to climb to the top of a very lovely Christmas tree, resplendent in its decorations. What happens next? She gets stuck! Horrakapotchkin!
First the cat climbs up to rescue her, then the dog, the goat, the pigs…and amidst all the kerfuffle, little miss kitten manages to find her way back down all by herself, leaving all of the rescuers stuck in the tree. It takes a very special someone to come along and remedy the situation. Sort of.
Children will get a kick out of seeing all the mayhem that ensues as one after another all of these animals try to help the little kitten and then get stuck themselves. The increasing energy is infectious as the catchy story gets more and more outlandish!
Told as a kind of cumulative, rhyming poem, Margaret Mahy (1936-2012) weaves her magic once again as one of the all-time absolute best writers for children. The lively and rhythmic words are calling out to be read aloud (or even sung!) and the exuberant illustrations by Sarah Davis will definitely get your kids laughing and certainly into a festive spirit.
This is a must-read tantalisingly tangly tale for the Christmas season and one to return to each year.
To buy a copy for your family this Christmas, visit your local book seller.