Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Water +Cats = Gobs of Giggles

Who wouldn't love a cooling dip in a pool during this summer heat wave, Splat, that's who!  This cat is back in a new episode, Splish, Splash, Splat! Author/illustrator Rob Scotton has delivered another dose of delight.

Splat is awakened from a sleep filled with dreams of candy fish floating within his grasp when his Mom opens the curtains and announces that Spike is coming over after Cat school for a play date.  Splat is none too happy about that.  Spike breaks his toys, eats too many candy fish, calls Splat names and is a show-off.  To make matters worse his Mom wants him to take a bath.  Splat does not like water---Water is horrible.  It's scary and wet and makes me soggy. 

What is it they say about bad luck coming in threes?  Splat's outlook of the day ahead is already sinking but when his Mom says that swimming lessons are beginning at school, his spirits dip down, way down. 

Mrs. Wimpydimple takes the class to the pool.  True to form Spike announces to the class that Splat forgot his swim trunks; Splat says that they are just black and furry.  Plank jumps right in with the rest of the class following slowly.  Who are the last two on the edge of the pool?  Surprisingly enough, it's Spike and Splat.    Splat is amazed to discover that he and Spike have more in common than he thought; well at least when it comes to water. Splat and Seymour hatch a tasty plan that works wonders.

In creating the Splat the Cat books, Rob Scotton makes liberal use of white space; his comic characters pop off the page ringed by bold colorful accents.  Soft, fine lines underscore Splat's fuzzy fur, his spindly legs and his long crooked tail which is uniquely his and his alone.  Scotton's attention to detail just adds to the humor; the fish wallpaper in the hallway outside the bathroom, the labels on the pool side--NOT DEEP,  GETTING DEEPER and UH-OH, and Seymour's attire mirroring that of Splat.

Another of Scotton's gifts is depiction of expression.  One of my two favorite pages is when Splat's Mom announces that Spike is coming over for a playdate.  Splat and  his mouse friend, Seymour are shocked into open-mouthed exclamations while lying in bed; Spike's toy duck runs off the page squawking.  When Splat is supposed to be taking his bath, he is gripping with all four paws the sides of the tub holding himself above determined not to get a single drop of water on this fur. 

Splish, Splash, Splat! by Rob Scotton is our feline friend at his endearing funniest and finest.  Like the other books in this series what happens to Splat could happen to any one of us.  Enjoy.  Be cool.

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