I’ve mentioned before I don’t often request / read or review many kids’ books – the whole ‘not having kids’ thing making them a bit redundant in my household. However, if I see something that I think my godson would like I’ll either check with his mum, or just go ahead and request it.
Finn and Puss by Robert Vescio and Melissa Mackie was promoted as an ‘ethical tale’ – with a focus on doing what we know is right, even when it’s hard. It sounded particularly cute so I went ahead and requested it for 6yr old (cat-owner) Pickle’s reading pleasure. (And a life lesson or two!)
Finn and Puss
by Robert Vescio, Melissa Mackie
Published by EK Books
on October 1st 2017
Source: EK Books
ISBN: 192533550X, 9781925335507
Finn, a young boy, is lonely. Puss, a cat, is lost. Then Finn and Puss meet. Suddenly Finn isn’t lonely anymore, and Puss seems quite happy to be with Finn, too.
So, when Finn sees a "Lost" poster put up by Puss’s owners, he’s faced with a tough decision. Will he do the right thing? This simple story, told in few words, touches on themes of hope, despair, loneliness, and friendship. Above all, it gently explores how sometimes we need to make hard choices but that ‘doing the right thing’ has its own rewards.
I have to admit, if I was reviewing this book from my usual viewpoint (ie. that of an adult) I’d probably comment on a plot hole / editing issue in the storyline. 🙂 (Sorry, I can’t help myself!) Cos part-way through the book (#spoileralert) Finn hands the lost Puss over to an anonymous female. At the end someone called Molly is introduced and I think it’s the same girl…. assuming Kitty (offered in thanks) is Puss’s kitten.
For reasons (perhaps known only to my therapist) it disturbed me that Molly wasn’t named earlier in the book. And I wondered if it was perhaps a different girl entirely: was I perhaps making too many suppositions in assuming it was the same girl? I mean, she looked the same, but….
My friend laughed when I mentioned this and said perhaps I was overthinking things and it wasn’t at all something that plagued Pickle. (Which probably won’t surprise the more sane of you out there. Or, you know…. those with kids!)
In fact, as you can see from this insightful discussion, Pickle (who’s now read the book a couple of times) gets quite excited as he nears the end and for him, it (also) becomes about Molly doing something nice (as well as Finn).
Although I’m a fan of short sentences and nonsensical phrases myself, I was a bit surprised at the brevity of some of the sentences. Or phrases. HOWEVER I’m conscious that the book is targeting early readers and the 6yr old in my life certainly appreciated the stand-alone words and phrasing, and his mum tells me he could recognise most of the words in the book.
Of course at the heart of this book is the lesson itself… making the hard decisions that we know (deep down) are the right ones and even if they’re bloody hard to make. That we feel better afterwards because we know we’ve done the right thing. (And of course it kinda introduces the concept of karma!)
I particularly like Pickle’s pragmatism (and suspect other kids will be the same) … his adamance that Finn can’t keep Puss because he belongs to someone else. As if it’s a no-brainer.
** As usual EK Books have a stack of resources available to accompany this book including Teachers’ Notes and
(Pickle &) I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.