The Cat on the Mat is Flat and The Big Fat Cow that Goes Kapow. By Andy Griffiths (Illustrated by Terry Denton)
As parents many of us know of the ever expanding series that started with the 13 Storey Tree House, and at time of writing the tree has grown to 65 storeys. With these books Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton seem to have captured the imaginations of a generation as they all eagerly await for next, expanded Tree House Book in the series. I am told by my son that these books are hilarious, and they are read by boys and girls in such a wide range of ages and reading levels that Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton must be on to something.
What many of you may not know is that there are books for those early readers by the same authors that are just as funny, just as engaging, and just as able to encourage children to read. My son’s first ‘chapter book’ was The Cat on the Mat is Flat. This book is a series of illustrated short stories or skits starting with a mouse that has a solution for the cat that keeps chasing him, to the funny adventures of Bill and Phil. The language is simple and repetitive and in a rhyme format that helps with working out words children do not know.
We built on the success of the Cat book by buying a second anthology of stories called The Big Fat Cow that Goes Kapow, which has stories bout Mike’s Bike and Ruth’s Super Scooter as well as exploding cows.
I would be hard pressed to say that these stories are works of literary genius, but then they do not try to be. What they are are stories that are easy to read and appeal to a child’s (and my husband’s) sense of humour. As a tool for getting kids interested in reading they are invaluable.
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