Trouble at the theatre - can a cat and a dog save the day?
Jasper and Scruff: Take a Bow by Nicola Colton, Little Tiger
This is the third book in Nicola Colton's charming collection about adorable feline and canine companions, Jasper and Scruff. I've been looking for books for my eldest for when she transitions to reading by herself. She's not quite there yet - we're still at the "first reader" stage - but I know she will love this series when she's ready.
Nicola Colton's illustrations are fabulous and will appeal to emerging readers. The images are so warm, cheerful and friendly, they're bound to make reading less intimidating. The illustrations are also full of cute and amusing details, and really funny.
In this adventure, Jasper and Scruff are competing in a talent show (which is hilariously called "Reach Fur the Stars"). There's a judge called Alvis Pawsley and one that resembles a certain X-Factor panellist who is famously lacking in compassion. When Jasper and Scruff get the impression that some of the contestants might be cheating, they investigate. There was a brilliant twist that I was not expecting, and a wonderful message about having confidence in yourself and your abilities.
I love the dynamic between Jasper and Scruff. They couldn't be more different, but their personalities perfectly complement each another. I was getting annoyed on Scruff's behalf when Jasper was "catsplaining" to him, but the good-humoured Scruff takes everything in his stride. I'm always amazed when chapter book authors manage to do so much with so few words and pages. Despite how short it is, Jasper and Scruff: Take a Bow is full of action, suspense and comedy. I'm looking forward to the next adventure already!
About the author-illustrator:
Nicola Colton is from Ireland and based in Bristol. She is the creator of the popular ‘People of Bristol.’ Nicola's work has featured in editorials, print and web campaigns for clients such as Boots UK and Fáilte Ireland and in various exhibitions. Her debut picture book, A Dublin Fairy Tale (O’Brien Press), was nominated for an Irish Book Award in 2015 and Zim Zam Zoom! (Otter-Barry Books) was longlisted for the CLiPPA and UKLA Book Awards 2017.