Simon’s Cat has been a beloved series for our family, adults and kids alike, since we first found it on the web. We’ve purchased every book and enjoyed them greatly; poor put upon cat owner Simon, his crafty cat, an energetic kitten, and plenty of dogs, hedgehogs, cranky neighbors, and diabolical birds. It makes for an infectious mix never needing words to convey the humor.
In this volume, Simon’s cat battles the vet, tries to outwit the area birds, romps with hedgehogs, outmaneuvers his nemesis kitten, and deals with Simon’s uptight neighbor. What’s fun is that payoffs to funny earlier scenes often come later in the story as well. It’s not a set of funny but separate vignettes so much as a continuing story of the life of Simon and his pets.
Pet owners especially will appreciate so many of the inside jokes; e.g., Simon having to sneak up to give his cat the burning drops of chemical tick repellent on the back of the neck (something us cat owners know full well drives cats nuts) or the debacle of a vet visit. Watching the cat interact with the other vet visitors makes for great scenes that can be biting in their lucidity. As always Simon’s cat deals with the animals and people of the world (from the brainless dog to the preternaturally smart birds) with aplomb.
What makes Simon’s Cat the series so rich is that there is a down-home truth to so much of the storytelling. Whether it is cats crawling into his pants when he’s using the toilet or felines falling asleep in the oddest and most annoying places – it all invokes the richness of pet ownership and the humor at the zany lives of pets.
If you haven’t read the series, don’t worry. This book is a fine place to start since these are slice of life stories of Simon’s cat and his friends/enemies. Those returning will welcome the addition of new strips to enjoy. Because the scenes are wordless but with uncluttered illustrations, this is great for all ages and to share with younger kids together. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.