Wuf­fling fun!

When is a book with a cat on its cover not re­ally about a cat? When it’s by the al­ways sur­pris­ing David Wiesner.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - READS -

cally-shaped sym­bols.

The aliens meet and be­friend a colony of ants liv­ing in the skirt­ing board and the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween th­ese two groups made me laugh out loud. The ants, as their wall mu­rals show, hate Mr Wuf­fles and this fa­cil­i­tates co­op­er­a­tion be­tween them and the aliens. To­gether, th­ese tiny crea­tures make a plan to thwart the cat and they suc­ceed!

Poor Mr Wuf­fles? Hardly. Al­though they can’t help their hunt­ing in­stincts, the cold-blooded way cats “play” with their vic­tims is surely the least en­dear­ing thing about them. Nei­ther, I must say, is the way they leave their kills as “gifts” for their own­ers. Should I be flat­tered by a be­headed mouse? A wing­less bird? A leg­less frog? It’s OK, you can scream and scold and your cat will merely curl up and go to sleep.

Just like most of Wiesner’s books, Mr Wuf­fles has min­i­mal text. The il­lus­tra­tor uses full page art as well as framed smaller se­quences to tell his story. In ei­ther case, there are lots of de­tails to pore over – I es­pe­cially love the ran­dom house­hold ob­jects that wind up be­hind the skirt­ing board, that are used by the aliens to get their ship work­ing again.

Mr Wuf­fles is a bit of a red-her­ring – both the ti­tle and the char­ac­ter. This is not a cud­dly cat, nor is it re­ally the tale of a cat, cud­dly or oth­er­wise. It’s a cracker of a story, nev­er­the­less, and shows that Wiesner knows his cats. So what if it’s not re­ally about Mr Wuf­fles, it should be called Mr Wuf­fles any­how.

Daphne Lee is a writer, ed­i­tor, book re­viewer and teacher. She runs a Face­book group called The Places You Will Go for lovers of all kinds of lit­er­a­ture. Write to her at star2@ thes­tar.com.my.

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