The latest picture book from Sonya Hartnett is a heart-warming story about a boy, his cat and the possibility of getting the thing you love more than almost anything else in the world.
Nicholas is thrilled when he finds a silver coin in his garden, proudly proclaiming to his cat, ‘I can buy liquorice with this.’ Excitedly heading towards the sweet shop with the thought of his favourite sweet swimming around his head, he is surprised to hear a familiar voice. ‘Marl.’ His cat has followed and despite Nicholas’ requests for her to return home, she seems intent on accompanying him the whole way. And when she finds herself in a perilous situation, Nicholas will have to make a huge choice…liquorice or his cat…
Go Home, Cat offers a different take on the pet narrative where usually the stray cat follows the child home, this time the cat follows Nicholas to the shop with the child desperate for the cat to return home so that it doesn’t get lost, stuck up a tree or worse.
Children with pets will instantly recognise Nicholas’ strong bond with his cat and despite his love of liquorice he finds that his friendship with the cat is the most important thing in his life. There’s always the opportunity to find another coin and to buy liquorice another day, friendship with a pet cat is not so easy to replace.
Set in a picturesque village, the beautiful illustrations by Lucia Masciullo are a glorious throwback to simpler times when fresh milk was delivered to the door in bottles, children roamed freely and played out on the streets, and when cars were a rarity. There is so much detail in each scene - the sweets in jars at Sweet Days is a personal favourite - and the wonderful child-drawn map-themed endpapers allow readers to follow Nicholas and the cats’ journey.
With huge thanks to Penguin Random House for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 3+.