Cat takes a swipe at one of the gnats buzzing around her.
But frog soon puts a stop to it.
“Oi Cat! Step away from the gnat!” he orders.
“But I hate gnats.” says the cat. “Gnats are all gnasty and gnibbly and they keep biting me on the bottom!”
“Why do you keep sitting on them then?” asks the dog. Why don’t you sit on a mat instead?
“Because the frog’s changed the rules,” sighs the cat. ”Remember?”
So the cat, who used to sit on a mat, must now sit on a gnat.
The only way out of her predicament is if a better rhyming word can be found for cat.
Frog makes some unhelpful suggestions such as “If you were a leech you could sit on a peach. If you were a duck you could sit on a truck. Or if you were a vole you could sit on a bowl” But Cat is a cat so that is no help at all.
And in any case “Rules are rules,” the frog reminds Cat with a wicked little grin on his face,
Dog chips in with more useless and improbable suggestions. But eventually he starts to think outside of the box. If Cat changed her name to kitty maybe a better rhyming word could be found? It doesn’t work. Then Dog has another bright idea. What if Cat was called Mog?
Cat finally has a lightbulb moment. But this is about to backfire on Dog!
I really loved this hilarious and absurd little tale and plan to take Oi Cat to our book club this month. We are welcome to bring any favourite books we have read of whatever genre and as most us are now grandmothers I know they would be keen to hear of any great new picture books to share with their grandchildren.
What intrigued me about Oi Cat was the relationship between the three characters: Frog, Cat and Dog.
So to spark a little book club discussion I thought up some open ended questions about the behaviour of these three, questions which you could, of course, also try out on your grandchildren after reading Oi Cat to them.
Discussion Starters for Oi Cat!
- Frog loves being a little meanie. But how did such a tiny creatures come to hold such power over the other animals and who might have invented this rather horrible little game?
(“Oi Cat!” is the third rhyming picture book by award-winning Kes Gray and Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner Jim Field. They also created Oi Frog! and Oi Dog! These two earlier books may well have shown some light on this but I haven’t had a chance to read them yet.)
- Is Dog just teasing cat or does he genuinely want to help?
(Dog’s useless suggestions at the beginning of the story would make you think he is a tease but as the story progresses it looks as if he genuinely want to help cat out. However, a dog has never been known to be a cat’s best friend so one can’t help being suspicious of his intentions)
- Why didn’t cat try harder to get out of her predicament instead of relying on others? How could she have got out of playing this game another way?
(Encourage non-violent solutions!)
- As a group brainstorm rhyming words that match one another’s names until everyone has an allocated seat.
(The more hilarious, far fetched and uncomfortable the better!)
That’s enough questions for us to mull over before we get back to having some wine and nibbles and a good old chinwag about what we have all been up to lately!
Title: Oi Cat! By Kes Gray and Jim Field
Hachette Children’s Book RRP $29.99
Publication Date September 12
To celebrate the book’s release we have two copies to giveaway.
To enter simply tell us two of the charatcers in the story in the comment section below.
The winner will be drawn and notified via email.
Reviews by Lyn Potter
Parent and grandparent, Avid traveller, writer & passionate home cook