Miss Cuddlywumps reviews Simon’s Cat Off to the Vet…and Other Cat-astrophes
All I can say is Ha, ha, and ha. Or rather that is what She of Little Talent said over and over as she laughed her way through this latest illustrated book from Simon Tofield.
Tofield has a distinct talent for telling stories with pictures (not a single word in this book), and this time he’s using those pictures to show us how a simple trip to the vet can go horribly wrong. You know that moment when the vet or their tech picks up your cat and says, “We’ll just keep him for a little bit to finish the exam,” and you say okay and leave? Well, Simon’s Cat will reveal what can really go on while you’re gone—and trust us, it’s more than you ever imagined. Oh, and if your cat has ever given your vet a little scratch on the hand, you won’t feel so bad about it after seeing this cat’s antics.
Much of the trip to the vet is portrayed in a nicely done color section in the center of the book, but a lot more goes on in this volume than going to the vet. Simon’s Cat has a very busy day as he helps make the bed, helps Simon in the bathroom (if you have a friendly cat, you’ll know what I mean), and then sets off to try to catch a bird. The “fishing” for birds section is one of our favorites, as Simon’s Cat and the kitten have an adventure in, naturally, a box.
It’s easy to get lost in this story, turning page after page to see what happens next. But old SoLT and I found ourselves going back again and again to look at the drawings. Some pages show one scene in detail, but our favorites are the action sequences in which several small, simple drawings cover a page. It’s almost like animation on a still page. The sequence we call “Simon’s Cat vs. the Cone” is especially well done and makes us giggle every time we go back to it.
And speaking of animation, Tofield and his team are also at work on their first full-color Simon’s Cat film, also called Off to the Vet. We’re not sure how they could possibly top the black-and-white shorts (catch them on YouTube), but we’re excited to find out.
Simon’s Cat Off to the Vet is Tofield at his best in print—making us laugh with his deceptively simple visual storytelling that is worth looking at over and over. Highly recommended!
Simon’s Cat Off to the Vet and Other Cat-astrophes is available now for pre-order and will be published in the US by Akashic Books on October 29, 2015.
And in case you just can't wait, please enjoy this video: