A rhyming review, a covert cat and another great giveaway

posted in: Ella Okstad, Pip Jones | 19


A review in verse

Imaginary friends are really the best
for escaping the blame, explaining the mess.

They’re even more fun, when your Mum plays along
until she’s fed up with all that goes wrong.

No matter how cute, your friend must comply:
It’s better behaviour, or else it’s goodbye.

Squishy McFluff, The Invisible Cat
(written by Jones, drawn by Okstad)

is such a delight for those at the start
taking autonomous reading right to their heart.

Told in fun rhymes with drawings so sweet
This new book from Faber is really a treat.

Perfect for fans of Alex T Smith
It’s funny, it’s charming, it’s one not to miss!

There’s naughtiness, mischief and invisibility
written with pace and feline agility.

Who would have known it was Jones’s debut?
I just cannot wait for book number two!

My rhyming review is meant as a homage,
but writing like this has been HARD I acknowledge

But I hope you don’t mind that I gave it a stab,
now find Squishy McFluff to put into your bag!

More conventional reviews of Squishy McFluff can be found here, here and here. And if my doggeral has tempted you to find a copy of Squishy McFluff keep reading as I have three copies to give away!

With her soft fluffy fur and endearing big eyes, my girls were begging me for a Squishy McFluff of their own. Being a cruel mother with a heart of stone I refused, and instead turned them into Squishy Mcfluffs (don’t you sometimes wish your kids were invisible?!):



You too could turn your kids into invisible cats – raid the wardrobes for white clothes and add a furry cardigan or (or make a simple dress like I did – I needed about a metre of fabric for each child), create cat ears out of pipecleaners and a headband, and a tail out of fabric remnants or tights (one leg inside the other with some socks for stuffing). I created a template for the cat masks which you can download from here. Pipecleaners pushed through the card I printed on made perfect whiskers.

Whilst white isn’t the most practical for a day at school, I think this would be a super fun costume for World Book Day, a day not only about having fun with books, but also an opportunity to raise funds for books.

Clara-Vulliamy-Books-Change-Lives1Books and libraries are a crucial resource in sub-Saharan Africa. They are vital for quality education; they raise literacy levels, provide information and underpin development. Books literally do change lives, and this is something Book Aid International knows a lot about.

This year, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, the charity wants to send 600,000 books to Africa, but it needs your help! Every £2 raised = one more book sent to Africa. Perhaps your school could have a bucket collection for Book Aid on World Book Day?

Did you know that if your school uses World Book Day as an opportunity to raise funds for Book Aid International, they could win £200 worth of book tokens?


To enter the competition all you need to do is to send Book Aid a photograph of your class in your World Book Day costumes by 7 April. Each class can send in one photograph to enter and the winners will be announced during the month of April. Full details are available here: http://www.bookaid.org/get-involved/fundraise/schools/world-book-day-2014/win-national-book-tokens/

Whether or not your class enters the Book Aid competition, you could enter my giveaway – all you need to do is leave a comment on this post!

Giveaway details

The giveaway is open to residents in UK/Eire only. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post. I have 3 copies of Squishy McFluff to give away.

For extra entries you can:

    (1) Tweet about this giveaway, perhaps using this text:
    Win a copy of the adorable Squishy McFluff by @PipsJones over on @playbythebook’s blog http://www.playingbythebook.net/?p=28944
    (2) Share this giveaway on your Facebook page or blog

You must leave a separate comment for each entry for them to count.

  • Three winners will be chosen at random using random.org.
  • The giveaway is open for one week, and closes on Monday 3rd March 2014 5pm UK time. I will contact the winners via email. If I do not hear back from the winners within one week of emailing them, I will re-draw as appropriate.

  • Don’t forget, if you haven’t already entered the other giveaway I’ve got on at the moment, you can do so here: http://www.playingbythebook.net/2014/02/20/ghosts-giveaway-garb/

    Good luck!

    Disclosure: My thanks go to the publishers, Faber, for donating the books for this giveaway, and for providing me with a review copy. I was approached by Book Aid to spread the word about the charity and I am very happy to do so. I received no payment for this post.

    The gorgeous illustrations in this post are by Clara Vulliamy, last year’s illustrator for Book Aid’s World Book Day programme. You can read a Q&A with her here: http://www.bookaid.org/clara-vulliamy-qa/

    UPDATE: Thanks to all who entered the giveaway, the winner was entries no. 4, 13 and 16.

    19 Responses

    1. Colin

      You’ve made me want to READ this book
      (It certainly sounds highly risible!)
      But most of all, to take a LOOK
      At a cat who is somehow invisible.

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