Andy Griffiths is the New York Times bestselling author of The Treehouse Books (The 13-Story Treehouse, etc.), The Day My Butt Went Psycho!, and The Cat on the Mat Is Flat, among others. In 2007, he became the first Australian author to win six children's choice awards in one year for Just Shocking!. Terry Denton is known for his humorous illustration style and has worked with Andy on The Treehouse Books, The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow, and many more.
Gr 2-4-Imagine the outcome if Dr. Seuss, Dav Pilkey, and Lane Smith were locked in a room until they came up with a book for beginning or reluctant readers. These nine rhyming stories have action galore, plenty of dialogue, and ample pen-and-ink illustrations, all wrapped up in humor. From the cat that is indeed flattened by a bat-wielding rat, to Unlucky Lou who lands in the prickle bush, to the evil bee, the rhymes keep coming. Denton's artwork seems slapdash, but perfectly parallels the zany humor. Few books of this length sport so much white space, large type, and spot art. Even young people who are struggling to get the hang of reading may happily handle all 176 crazy pages.-Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Griffiths's (The Day My Butt Went Psycho!) innovative book for beginning readers collects nine short, intentionally silly snippets propelled by kid-pleasing, tongue-tripping verse. In the title tale, a cat sitting on a mat decides to chase a rat, who grabs a baseball bat: "Around and around and around the mat the rat chased the cat with the baseball bat until... KERSPLAT!" Other protagonists also encounter tongue-in-cheek adversity. Friends Ed and Ted and Ted's dog Fred survive a tumble off a cliff, a near-drowning and ingestion by a whale. Lou, "the unluckiest girl that the world ever knew," becomes covered in a kangaroo's glue and then lands headfirst in a "prickle bush." And pals Bill and Phil roll down a hill, landing in a puddle of smelly pig swill. Griffiths's bouncy cadence and wacky wordplay occasionally sound derivative of Dr. Seuss, as when a hog reprimands a speeding dog and frog: "Racing is NOT allowed in my bog! Not on a log! Not on a cog! No log-racing frogs! No cog-racing dogs!" And when Chuck the Duck's ice-cream truck gets stuck in the muck, Buck the Duck announces, "I can get your truck unstuck. I can suck up all the muck with the muck-sucker-upper on my muck-sucking truck!" Denton's edgy, stick-figure-filled sketches enhance the zaniness factor and the offbeat, ironic humor. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
The appeal of this book is its simplicity-rhyme, rhythm and repetition, combined with wicked illustrations by Terry Denton. Griffiths' is well known for writing books that encourage reluctant readers of all ages to enjoy reading. This book is no different. Even simpler than Griffiths' previous work, The Cat on the Mat is Flat will appeal to readers not wanting a book with long, wordy chapters. Each of the nine chapters is short, lively and filled with Griffths' trademark nonsensical humour. Chapters include Ed and Ted and Ted's Dog Fred and Frog on a Log in a Bog-you get the idea. I think The Cat on the Mat is Flat will primarily appeal to boys, but that's not to say girls won't enjoy it. I read the book to my 10-year-old daughter and my nine-year-old son and while my daughter thought it was very amusing, my son was the one who giggled through its entirety. Griffiths himself rates his book 'RS': really silly, really short, rarely serious. I think he's achieved his aim. Sharon Athanasos is a sales assistant at Meg's Bookshop in Port Pirie
"Griffiths's innovative book for beginning readers collects nine short, intentionally silly snippets propelled by kid-pleasing, tongue-tripping verse. . . . Denton's edgy, stick-figure-filled sketches enhance the zaniness factor and the offbeat, ironic humor." --Publishers Weekly"Imagine the outcome if Dr. Seuss, Dav Pilkey, and Lane Smith were locked in a room until they came up with a book for beginning or reluctant readers. These nine rhyming stories have action galore, plenty of dialogue, and ample pen-and-ink illustrations, all wrapped up in humor. . . . Even young people who are struggling to get the hang of reading may happily handle all 176 crazy pages." --School Library Journal"Definitely not your parents' easy reader, but perfect for fans of Lane Smith's HAPPY HOCKEY FAMILY." --Kirkus Reviews"Take one part Dr. Seuss, one part Edward Lear, place in a blender with a dash of Dav Pilkey and a bit of Cartoon Network juice . . . meant to be read as pure joy. It's a piece of candy eaten in secret between meals." --The Excelsior File (blog)"This collection of stories is fun albeit with a touch of mayhem . . . This is a good book for beginning readers, in the same vein as THE CAT IN THE HAT and THE CAT IN THE HAT COMES BACK. It will likely spark a new rhyming nation of happy youngsters, some of whom will grow up to write their generation's outrageously funny advertising jingles . . . Any beginning reader will find it charmingly slapstick and fun." --Armchair Interviews