Thursday, 14 March 2019

Ellie and the Cat by Malorie Blackman and Matt Robertson (Children's, 7 years +, Dyslexia friendly, 10E/10E)

 February 2019, Barrington Stoke, 80 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Summary from Barrington Stoke
 Ellie’s bad behaviour is driving Grandma mad! It’s time to teach her a lesson she’ll never forget … by swapping Ellie’s body with Jolly the cat. There’s only one way for Ellie to break Grandma’s curse, and time is running out. Can she change her ways and find some friends to lend a hand before it’s too late?

Nayu's thoughts
Despite knowing how famous an author Malorie is I've actually read very few of her books. These days I want more fun less edgy reads which rules out her Young Adult selections. However, this one caught my eye - who wouldn't want to turn into a magic cat? Apparently that's Ellie. Both why and how she turned into one is fascinating: as a cat lover I liked her having to get to grips with a cat body which is rather different to a human's: think of the fur, the tale, the whole walking on four paws deal, hunting instinct, etc. Ellie isn't the nicest of protagonists. She isn't a sweet little girl who gets cursed, or who accidentally falls down a rabbit hole. She is dislikable at the start, but by the end I did like how she changed herself because of her circumstances. 

I absolutely loved her grandmother! If only she could handle all mischievous children in that way, the world would be a) over run with cats (not a problem, I love kitties!) b) people would soon learn manners with her punishments. I liked that there was a deadline to Ellie being able to transform back into a human, it added a sense of dread every time something went wrong for Ellie: she is a wicked child but did she really deserve to be stuck as a cat forever? It's a question I had mixed feelings on, which probably makes it a good thing magic mostly exists in fiction. 

This is a Barrington Stoke novel, which besides always being brilliant (they truly are, although I am quite the fangirl of their books), they are easy to read using off-white pages, special dyslexia friendly font and margins, plus have a cool cover that I'm proud to display on my bookshelf. There are plenty of illustrations which provide support for all of Ellie's emotions, I hope you go read about Ellie's tale (or should it be tail?) for yourself!

 Find out more on Malorie's website and Matt's website.

Suggested read 
 Be sure to check out Malorie's other books including one I reviewed a few years ago: Fangs by Malorie Blackman and Jamie Smith (Children's, 7 years +, 9/10E)