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Simon's Cat, by Simon Tofield

in his very own book

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Book Cover of Simon's Cat

Book Cover of Simon's Cat

Photo Credit: © Grand Central Publishing

It will be a rare cat lover who has never followed an emailed link to one of Simon's Cat YouTube videos, then spent an hour chuckling and guffawing at one video after another featuring this mischievous cartoon cat. We can all relate to poor Simon, who is the poster child of kitty-whipped victims. The first cartoon I saw showed Simon watching TV, and the gyrations he had to go through to get a snack from the refrigerator without disturbing his cat. I must have watched it six times that go-around.

It was with pleasure then, that I decided to review Simon the Cat's very own book.

The Technical Details:

  • Author: Simon Tofield
    A life-long cartoonist, while Simon was learning how to use the Flash animation program for his position at Tandem Films, his kitten, Hugh, appeared and had begun batting him for attention with his paw. One thing led to another, and a client of Tandem Films used the first clip, featuring Simon's cat, on their Web site. This animation received 60,000 hits in just two nights. Simon is an award-winning illustrator, animator and director at Tandem Films based in London. He shares his home with three cats: Hugh, Maisie and Jess.
  • Published by Grand Central Publishing
  • Paperback, 240 Pages
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches

The Meat of the Book

Photo of Cartoon in the book, Simon's Cat

Simon's Cat Cartoon

Photo Credit: © Simon Tolfield

Except for the title, dedication, and credits, you won't find a printed word anywhere inside this book. As we know, "a picture is worth a thousand words," and Simon Tofield's line art drawings provide great detail into the mind of a scheming cat. Simon's Cat concocts complicated schemes, the like of which hasn't been seen since the Sylvester and Tweety Bird © Warner Brothers cartoons first came out in 1947.

Not surprisingly, the end result often turns out the same, with Simon's Cat being the butt of a birds' retaliatory prank. The alternative ending is that poor Simon is left holding the bag, while his cat makes a fool of him (as cats are so often wont to do). One of my favorites in the book is a two page spread depicting Simon standing proudly next to a huge cat tower, which he has laboriously constructed. The next page shows Simon completely befuddled while his cat cavorts in the box full of packing material. I'm sure all of us can relate to that scenario!

Some of the cartoons are self-contained on one page, as the illustration shows. Others may feature two or more page spreads.

Simon's Cat is a wonderful gift choice for both adults and youngsters. If I had to nit-pick, the only real fault I can find is that some of the cartoons are so involved and so intricate that it takes me some time to figure out exactly what is going on. So adults may have to explain some of the drawings to children (and vice-versa, I'm sure!) This book will definitely have a place in my gift guide for holidays and year-round giving.

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