Curly Cat by Jennifer Somervell and Zerika Van Jaarsveld
Curly-Cat is a tricky wee cat and he’s having a tough time of it. He’s different from the other cats because of his super long and super curly tail. Other cats give him a very hard time about it telling him that it’s just no good. These bully cats point and laugh at his tail, some even follow him through tracks in the trees laughing when his large tail ends up with bits of bark and trash stuck in it.
Poor Curly-Cat thinks that he is strange because of his long and curly tail. He thinks he needs to change to make others see him the way he sees himself. So he heads along to the hairdresser (or is that furdresser) to sort it out and cut it off. However, it is the tail that captures the attention of the barber who immediately tries to convince Curly-Cat to keep the tail so that he can work with it and make it the most beautiful tail in the land.
There just happens to be a fashion show coming up and the barber thinks he can get Curly-Cat ready in time. It’s the barber who really creates the opportunity for Curly-Cat to see more than he sees in himself. Like any wise mentor, they treat Curly-Cat with respect and kindness - something poor Curly-Cat has lacked. In the end there is such a revelation that the whole town can’t believe how magnificent Curly-Cat’s tail is. They all want one themselves!
Sometimes, we all need to have someone else point out our best features because we can’t see them ourselves. It is in these moments where we flip our perceptions that we find out more about ourselves. Jennifer Somervell has created this gem of a picture book aimed to treat morality as much as self worth. The bullies in the book are caricatures of the bullies in real life. They exist. But they can be overcome with love, respect and self-determination.
Beautiful illustrations from Zerika van Jaarsveld help guide the narrative along. Everyone loves a good cat story! Especially those with such a wonderful message and happy outcome.
Reviewer: Chris Reed
Landing Lights Press