Winter whiskers: 6 favourite festive felines in children's books
Published on: 04 December 2019 Author: Sam Hay
Sam Hay's new book is inspired by her cat, who becomes a bit of a Scrooge at Christmas! We had to ask her to share some of her other favourite festive felines...
I love everything about Christmas. But our cat is less keen. He's very much like Clawdia in A Cat's Christmas Carol: he doesn't like the fuss, the noise, or the change in routine!
But he does enjoy the odd turkey titbit. Not to mention the extra cuddles from visitors. And I'm sure if I asked him to tell me his favourite Christmas cat books, these titles would be on his list. They're all purr-fect to snuggle up with on a chilly winter's eve...
1. Mog's Christmas by Judith Kerr (HarperCollins)
The Mog stories are firm favourites in our house. They perfectly capture family life with a pet and Mog has the same opinion about the festive fuss as our own cat.
My favourite bit is when Mog sees the Christmas tree arriving (but not Mr Thomas who is carrying it!)
'Mog thought, "Trees Don't Walk. Trees should stay in one place. Once trees start walking about anything might happen."'
2. Mog on Fox Night by Judith Kerr (HarperCollins)
This is another Mog story with a winter theme! Mog decides she doesn't like her supper and wants something else.
But Mr Thomas, who is grumpy after putting out the bin bags in the snow, says she can't have anything else. A stand-off ensues, with Mog going off into the snow in a sulk. It's such a funny story and reminds me of our cat and my husband!
3. Winnie and Wilbur Meet Santa by Valerie Thomas, illustrated by Korky Paul (OUP)
The Winnie the Witch and Wilbur books always make me laugh. They're perfect to read aloud, with so many exciting details to spot in the pictures. I love the way sensible Wilbur always tries to steer Winnie in the right direction... though she never pays any attention, of course.
4. The Outlaw Varjak Paw by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean (Corgi Childrens)
The Varjak Paw books are both brilliant. But my favourite is this one, which is set in winter. The author uses the chilly weather in such a clever way to create atmosphere and suspense.
It is beautifully written with unforgettable characters. It's a book I regularly buy for people at Christmas.
5. Sammy Claws, the Christmas Cat by Lucy Rowland and Paula Bowles (Nosy Crow)
A new-ish picture book, and one that I really enjoyed. It's a very funny rhyming story with gorgeous illustrations. It really captures the way cats like to get involved in everything, often with chaotic results!
6. The Church Mice at Christmas by Graham Oakley (Templar)
Samson the cat has got to be the kindest cat in children's fiction. He's so caring and gentle to the mice who are his friends.
In this story, the mice are trying to raise money for a Christmas party. I love the themes of friendship and co-operation - perfect for the spirit of Christmas. And the illustrations are so cosy and warming.
BONUS CATS: Snazzy Cat Capers by Deanna Kent, illustrated by Neil Hooson (Macmillan)
For a non-Christmas-themed story, check out this hilarious cat-and-fish-buddy-adventure series. Loads of laughs and a fast-moving story with cat-tastic illustrations. Great fun!
A Cat's Christmas Carol by Sam Hay and Helen Shoesmith is out now, published by Simon & Schuster.
Who is your favourite festive feline? Let us know in the comments box below or by tweeting us @BookTrust!
A big thank you to everyone who donated to the BookTrust appeal. With your amazing support, we have sent surprise book gifts to over 12,250 vulnerable children to bring joy and brighten their Christmas.