* Prices may differ from that shown
Mog the Forgetful Cat, written by Judith Kerr, tells the tale of Mog who, as the title declares, is a forgetful cat. She forgets everything from the fact she has a cat flap to the fact she can't fly.
But it is this weakness which makes Mog the cat a heroine in the end, however unintentionally on the part of Mog.
Mog the Forgetful Cat is a book penned by the same author as the more widely-popular The Tiger Who Came to Tea. There is reason for this as The Tiger Who Came to Tea has a simplicity and a surrealism which instantly captures the imagination of readers. This is not to say that Mog the Forgetful Cat does not hold an appeal all of its own.
For me, as a little girl, the cat as hero of the tale was a very appealing one. Psychologically speaking, it represents the triumph of the maligned and ridiculed - essentially the triumph of the little guy - something which will always hold a certain sway with youngsters.
Mog is incredibly impeded by her personality flaw. She makes mistakes which lower her in the favour of her owners, the Thomas family, and even the little girl, Debbie, her one ally, is pushed to the limits of her sympathy towards the end of the book. It is at this crucial point that Mog carries out her good deed and wins back round her family and an award at the same time.
I get a real sense of nostalgia on opening up a copy of Mog the Forgetful Cat. In fact, it is my own well-read copy of the book that I now read to my own two-year-old daughter. My little girl is captivated by the colourful drawings of Mog and her family, particularly the one of Mog flying with the birds. She also enjoys the ending which sees Mog win a medal, and an egg.
I would say that there are some aspects of the book, which was written some 30 years ago, which haven't translated to the modern day such as the fact the book opens with "Mog lived with a family called Thomas" rather than "the Thomas family", which makes it instantly appear a little out-dated for today.
The other problem is the fact for a child to gain a full understanding of the story they need to be able to read the pictures as well as the words. This poses problems when reading the book aloud to little ones. For example, there is a scene where Mog accidentally sits on Mrs Thomas' hat. The fact she does this is not explained in the writing but purely shown as a picture.
Whilst young children will be interested in the colourful pictures, this aspect is perhaps a little too subtle for younger children to fully understand. Having said this, judging by how engrossed in the story my daughter becomes when I read it and how often she picks up the book to be read, this is by no means a problem for her.
Overall, despite there being some slightly antiquated aspects to this book, like all good classic children's books, Mog has a cuddly, warm and friendly aura about it. It captures that morality and sense of all things coming right which books today do not always grasp.
Reading it is a way to recapture that cocoon of innocence that children enjoyed in times gone by where they were shown that whilst there were dangers outside, all was well in the sanctuary of the home. This sense of there being nothing to fear could no better be expressed than in the fact the burglar, rather than being handcuffed, is given a cup of tea by the Thomas family.
Add to this backdrop short, snappy, easily readable sentences and the use of repetition, particularly through the phrase "bother that cat", and you have a great little story which will, I'm sure, be enjoyed by generations of children to come.
Mog the forgetful cat is a childrens story which has charmed generations of children. The book is hard back, 40 pages long although half of these are the illustrations and is I would say aimed at the 2-5 age range.
We read the book regularly to our little one who is currently 14 months and the response is mixed, however I think this is because we've started reading too early rather than it being a bad book.
The story tells the tale of Mog a forgetful cat who sometimes forgets that there is a catflap to get in and out of her owners house, she exasperates her family by scaring the kids, sleeping in front of the television and making a terrible mess around the house, but while Mog can be annoying and frustrating something happens which proves that she is a very useful cat and delights her family.
The book is a childrens classic written by Judith Kerr who has created an entire series of books in this range, the writing is simple, with some words which I felt were perhaps ill-placed for books for such a young age, but overall, it provides a good moral and shows why pets can be much more than simply animals and are truly a part of the family.
The illustrations are well done and easy to follow, Mog is very carefully drawn and the animation has an old style charm to it. As the story develops the child follows the twists and turns of Mog's behaviour perfectly until the outcome provides them with a little moral and an uplifting ending.
We bought the book on Amazon for £4.43 although it is available for much less via Marketplace, we were swayed by the 5 star reviews on both Dooyoo and Amazon, it is something my partner read as child but I have no experience of.
Overall I think this book will grow on our little one, I hope it grows on me too, its professional, ticks all the right boxes and is clearly a well thought through book, but I found it a little dull compared to a lot of books i've read recently, I hope as little one grows and reads it themselves they will get more from the book and from reading reviews believe this will be the case.
It is a good book, well made, very solid with the hard pages and beautifully illustrated, I will give it a 4 out of 5 which I hope I can update in 6-12 months if we both start to enjoy it more, we will try other books in the series after this one.
I bought a little set of three books from Tesco for my son this Christmas. The books were branded bedtime stories and came packed in a little white hard case which just slotted the books in nicely. One of the books in the set was Mog the forgetful cat.
The book Mog the forgetful cat is by Judith Kerr and was first published in 1970! I think I remember my mum reading a range of Mog books to me when I was a child and so it still remains a classic book really. This little book was published in 2010 for the purpose of the gift set and is a hard backed book which feels of really good quality.
Mog the forgetful cat is the story of a cat called Mog funnily enough! The story talks about the family that Mog lives with and how she impacts on their lives. Mog is a lovely cat but she is very forgetful and this leads to her forgetting she has a cat flap to enter the house and so she will jump up at the window all of a sudden causing Mrs Thomas to drop the lunch. Mog also seems to be in the way an awful lot either be it with her tail draped over the television screen or sitting on Mrs Thomas's hat! Mr and Mrs Thomas will both be found frequently saying "Bother that cat" and so one night feeling like nobody likes her Mog leaves the house through the cat flap but of course she forgets how to get back in! Seeing that the kitchen light is on Mog jumps up at the window as usual hoping that someone will let her in but she actually disturbs a burglar who drops his loot and wakes the Thomas's up therefore saving the day!
What I like about this story is that it is written in very short sentences meaning that young children can have a go at reading it themselves whilst those that are too young to read it themselves will not get too bored as you are reading it to them. I do think some stories for young children can sometimes be overly complex with the language but this is not the case with this story and my son both enjoys reading and listening to this one.
Another nice feature of this book is that the text is intertwined into some really lovely illustrations and I think that they are really endearing. What I particularly like is the emotions which are portrayed on Mogs face as the story goes on and we see her scared, happy and sad and this is represented really well in the illustrations. There is a lot of scope to just talk through the pictures in this book rather than read the actual text as you can work out what is going on from the pictures very well. It makes me laugh that at the end the burglar is being given a cup of tea along with everyone else in the house!
My son has enjoyed having this book as a bedtime story and whilst I wouldn't say it is one of his favourites it is one that we read from time to time. I would say it is a pleasant book to read and it doesn't appear to be too old fashioned despite being around forty years old! The set I picked up cost £5.00 from tesco and it contained three small books but you can buy this book individually from amazon from £3.49 and it is available in paper back as well as board book variety for younger children.
Thank you for reading my review!
Mog The Forgetful cat is a children's book by author Judith Kerr. The book was released in the United Kingdom in 2005 and so is quite recent, considering that the Mog books have been around a very long time ; I remember loving them when I was around five years old, and that is fourteen years ago now! You can buy this book (as well as the other books in this series), from Amazon. This one costs just £3.49 which I think is great value for money!
In this book, as the title suggests; Mog is very forgetful! She can't remember silly things like how to use her cat flap and whether or not she has had her tea!
I used to love the 'Mog books' as a child! If we had to choose a book to read in class, I would always want a 'Mog' book, and would love if it if the teacher read out a 'Mog book' to the class! They are perfect children's book! I remember thinking that Mog was the coolest cat and wished that I had a cat like Mog. I particularly likes the Christmas one although I always enjoyed the others too.
I never managed to experience 'Mog The Forgetful Cat' as a child, as it wasn't released until 2005, and so is fairly recent. This book is a real clasic and despite it's 'old fashioned' look, I think that it will keep on entertaining children for generations to come! This book is perfect for children around the ages of five and six, especially if they are learning to read. The writing is simple and quite large, which makes it easy for new readers. Children who are not old enough to read will also enjoy this book, as the illustrations are so clear and easy to understand. The story itself is quite quick and so keeps children, especially younger children interested. The story is slightly predictable at times, although it still a highly enjoyable read!
Kids will love the character of Mog! She is quite a strange little cat! I remember as a child, everyone used to laugh because she was 'so stupid', although I always used to feel sorry for her because she could never understand what was happening and could never quite understand the humans and why they were doing certain things. Looking back though, these books are quite funny! It makes me wonder, do cats really think about humans the way Mog does....hehe!
Children will particularly like joining in with the 'bother that cat' phrase, which gets repeated a few times in this book everytime Mog does something silly! However, Mog does eventually prove everyone that she is not as stupid as she looks, especially when she helps trap a burglar!!
I would definately recommend this book!! It would definately make a great stocking filler!
Thanks for reading!
November 12th 2010
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)
Another wonderful story with beautiful illustrations by Judith Kerr.
Mog is a very forgetful cat who, unwittingly, saves the day. She lives with the Thomas family and their children Debbie and Nicky. Mog isn't the cleverest of cats and the story delights us with a miriad of things she does to annoy the family, all without meaning to. The response is always "Bother that Cat!" and children soon learn when it's coming and say it for you. Debbie defends her to the last until one night Mog gives Debbie a big fright and poor Mog has no one to defend her and she's left out in the cold.
That's when a burgular breaks in and Mog is the only one around to save the day. How will she manage it?
The story is wonderfully told from both the cat and family's point of view. The cat has no idea at all of the effect she has on things around her and is very endearing to a reader because of it. The illustrations, as is usual with Judith Kerr, are very appealing and give depth to the story. My favourite is the penultimate where Mr and Mrs Thomas have tea with a contrite burgular while the police man asks Debbie questions about Mog.
Suitable from the age of 2 1/2 to 6. Entertaining and amusing. Highly recommended.
Mog the forgetful by Judith Kerr.
A classic childrens story from Judith Kerr which was first published in 1970.
I have read this book hundreds of times! It is one of my three year old daughters favorites and she never, ever gets bored of it. It is amusing to me and my husband too as we have five pet cats who all do silly things just like Mog such as laying in stupid place, forgetting they have been fed and licking people's hair!
Mog, the very forgetful cat lives with the Thomas family and is often very annoying to Mr and Mrs Thomas who often shout 'bother that cat' at Mog... my daughter loves to shout that bit and thinks it is hilarious!
Mog often forgets where her catflap is starts to meow very loudly at the kitchen window to come back in the house. In the end Mog ends up a hero when she does this late at night scaring a burgler and waking up the Thomas household!
This delightful story is backed up with simple, colourful artwork which complements it perfectly.
I purchased our copy of Mog the cat from play.com for about £3.50 and I got it in board book style so it is a lot more hard wearing than a paper book. It still looks good as new after hundreds of reads!
We all loved this story so much that I purchased my daughter two more Mog stories this Christmas and will be reviewing them shortly.
Other stories in the Mog series are:
Mog and the Baby
Mog in the Dark
Mog and Me
Mog's Family of Cats
Mog's Amazing Birthday Caper
Mog and Bunny
Mog and Barnaby
Look Out, Mog
Mog on Fox Night
Mog in the Garden
Mog and the Granny
Mog and the Vee Ee Tee
Mog's Bad Thing
This story book is widely available from sites like Amazon new or used.
WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR AND WHERE CAN I BUY IT?
"MOG THE FORGETFUL CAT" by JUDITH KERR is published by Picture lions publications and the
ISBN number is 978-0006640622. You can purchase it from Amazon for 1p in either hardback or paperback editions. Although my copy is paperback i would suggest if you have the choice to go for a hard back as they are sturdier and last better with young children. The books is aimed at younger children, my own children lived this book from about 7 months onwards and I have read it to infant classes at schools over the years and they have all loved it.
JUDITH KERR AND HER MOG BOOKS
'Mog the forgetful cat' was the first in a series of Mog books by Judith Kerr. Mog went on to star in a further nine books after this one which include;
Mog and the Vee Ee Tee (978-0001982116)
Mog's Christmas (978-0007171354)
Mog and the Baby (978-0007171323)
Mog in the Dark (978-0007171330)
Mog's Bad thing (978-0006647553)
Mog's Amazing Birthday Caper (978-0006633839)
Mog's ABC (978-0007296545)
Mog on Fox Night (978-0007171361) and then finally and sadly she wrote the last in the series which was;
Goodbye Mog (978-0007149698)
I have put the ISBN numbers in brackets should you wish to find any of these books and they are all on Amazon some for a little more than 1p but often not a lot more.
JUDITH KERR- THE AUTHOR
Judith Kerr was born in Berlin in 1923 but was lucky enough to escape Hitler's Germany. She fled with her parents and brother in 1933 when she was only nine years old and after travelling though a number of countries Judith and her family arrived in England in 1936. They were fortunate to make that escape as her father was a drama critic and a distinguished writer whose books were burned by the Nazis.
Judith went to eleven different schools in her life and during the war worked in the Red Cross. Since then she attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1945Following this she has worked as an artist, a BBC television scriptwriter and an author and illustrator of children's books.
The Mog books are very well know, she also wrote "The tiger who Came to Tea" and three children's books based on her childhood; "When Hitler stole the Pink Rabbit", "Bombs on Aunt Dainty", "A Small Person Far Away" which I have not read myself but my daughter thoroughly recommends them.
WHAT ABOUT MOG THEN?
Mog is a rather chubby tabby cat with a white bib at the front and four white paws. I am sure Judith Kerr must own a cat as her illustrations capture the expressions and emotions of a cat to perfection. Mog is so loveable and yet as a cat owner you know only too well how infuriating some of the things Mog does can be. Mog's facial expressions vary from bemused to long suffering and progress from thoroughly miffed to angry are all so well captured by Judith Kerr in these books.
Mog lived with the Thomas family, Mr and Mrs Thomas, Debbie and Nicky and she was clearly adored by all despite the fact she was 'very forgetful'. Mog forgets things that our cats forget so i think this is the appeal of the book. Adults read it and are amused by the straight forward text and illustrations showing what really happened, children just think Mog is forgetful. The picture of Nicky hugging Mog is just so true, she looks so uncomfortable and has a long suffering expression on her face while Nicky is just so fond of her and has a look of pure contentment!
Another well observed piece of cat behaviour is when Mog is washing, she often forgets that's what she's doing and gazes into the distance thinking of something else altogether, while one of her legs stays sticking in the air, this is just exactly what our cats do too.
Finally my husband spent a good few days knocking a hole through a thick brick wall in the back of our house and then he fitted double cat flaps at either end of the tunnel. With a little training our cats can now use this perfectly well but like Mog seem to forget where it is or how to use it at times.
"The garden always made Mog very excited.
She smelled all the smells.
She chased the birds.
She climbed the trees.
She ran around and around with a big fluffed up tail.
And then she forgot the cat flap.
She forgot she had a cat flap.
She wanted to go back into the house but she couldn't remember how."
This is where she gets annoying as she tries various ways to get back in. One method was to sit in Mrs Thomas's beautifully planted window box outside the kitchen window and meow till she was let in. I just love the understated comment;
"Afterwards you could always tell where she had sat"
This is followed by the illustration showing the flattened plants.
The children always protect Mog whenever she does something annoying while the adults have a phrase which children love joining in with; "Bother that cat!"
The other antics Mog gets up to include sitting on the television completely oblivious to the fact that her tail is hanging down over the screen while Mr Thomas is trying to watch TV. Mog sits on Mrs T's hat and squashes it. She jumps on the kitchen windowsill when chased by a dog and meows so loudly that Mrs Thomas drops the saucepan of peas on the floor.
BACK TO THE STORY
We now have an idea of Mog's character and the story develops. Mog is licking Debbie's hair one night ; Mog is extremely happy thinking how soft Debbie's hair is meanwhile Debbie is dreaming that she is being licked by a tiger. Debbie wakes up screaming and both parents rush to her side wearing their night clothes and looking distinctly unimpressed. Mog runs out of her cat flap into the garden.
"Mog sat in the dark and thought dark thoughts....... Nobody likes me. They've all gone to bed and there is no-one to let me in."
Then she notices that luckily there is someone in the kitchen and maybe he will let her in. The burglar is dressed in eye mask with torch and swag bag! Mog jumps on the ill fated window box and gives it her best "MEOW!"
The burglar drops his booty and wakes the house hold up. The police are called and one comes (obviously this book was set in the good old days when you got a response, beyond being given a crime number, to a call to the police).
Needless to say Mog is the hero and referred to by the policeman as a "remarkable cat". Mog of course is totally oblivious to her new found status as guard cat. They decide that she would probably prefer an egg to a medal and the last page shows a very self satisfied Mog wearing a medal, a huge grin and enjoying a whole egg in her dish.
As you have probably gathered reading this review, I am a fan of Mog as think Judith Kerr captures the joys and annoyances of cat ownership and portrays them through her wonderful illustrations and dead pan text.
The illustrations are simple line drawings rather cartoon like. The clothes of the characters are somewhat dated but children don't notice things like that anyway and it gives a feeling of a time passed when life was simpler and more innocent i feel.
My own children LOVED the Mog books and i enjoyed reading then as the text tells a story but then there is so much more you can see in the pictures and talk about with children. Stories like Mog help to develop children's sense of humour and allow you as a reader to share humour with the children as listeners.
If you do not already know these lovely books then I urge you to find a young child and a Mog book and share the joy of the wonderful stories and illustrations with them.
Thank you for reading and this review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
The sad fact of the matter is that there are an awful lot of terrible children's books out there, badly written, terrible illustrations, mind-numbingly boring or just plain inappropriate. Since having my daughter I have had to read an awful lot of these terrible stories; I now rely very heavily on the library for reading material due to the amount of money I have squandered on once-read books. Thankfully my mother and her partner are very good at knowing what books to buy and came up trumps with this classic that I remembered from my childhood.
Judith Kerr is a children's author of some note, being responsible for the iconic 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' and 'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit'. Her books are somewhat old-fashioned and feature some stereotypes that feminists may find irritating e.g. male characters sitting and watching TV, female characters running the house and cleaning etc. They are also well-written, simple, amusing and classic children's stories.
Mog is a grey and white cat who lives with the Thomas family; Mr and Mrs Thomas, Debbie and Nicky. Her forgetful ways (forgetting how to use the cat flap, that she has already eaten her dinner, that she can't fly) cause the family to say on a regular basis 'Bother that cat' after her forgetfulness causes them a minor domestic upset e.g squished flowers from Mog forgetting how to use her catflap and miaowing at the window. However, one day Mog has a particularly bad run of luck beginning with an awkward wakeup and being chased by a dog to mistaking Debbie for a kitten and giving her a nightmare. Out in the garden, cold and alone, Mog forgets that she already had her dinner and returns to the kitchen windowsill in time to surprise a burglar, get him caught and save the Thomas's spoons. Hurray, Mog is a heroine!
This story is told in a series of short simple sentences e.g. Mog ran right round the house. And the dog ran after her' which is great for very little children as well as those who are starting to get to grips with reading. My daughter has enjoyed this book for the last year (she is 4 years old), but it has only been in the last month or so that she has started to be able to pick out the odd word. There are repeated sentences such as 'bother that cat' that enable the child to join in at certain places in the story and to keep them amused throughout.
The illustrations are full of humour too, the characters - Mog especially, are well drawn and full of life. Combined with the droll sentences this is a feel-good book that had both my daughter and I chuckling all the way through. Anyone who has owned or even just met a particularly dense cat will recognise them in the story and the illustrations. The basic premise is simple but well-executed and this is our favourite of all the Mog series and a lovely book to share. Mog books in general are also a pleasant sensory experience, thick shiny white pages, a wide spine (surprisingly important when you want to find it on a shelf of children's picture books) and a general feel of quality which make them lovely books to give as gifts.
RRP is £5.99 but a quick scan of Amazon shows it for sale at £3.34 (with used prices from 1 penny).
'Mog the forgetful cat' was the first book written by Judith Kerr that was all about Mog. Following the success of this book and the loveable factor of Mog, Judith Kerr went on to write a series of books relating to the cat:
Mog and the Vee Ee Tee
Mog and the baby
Mog in the dark
Mog's Amazing Birthday Caper
There's also a Big Mog Tape Audio Book available which is great for the car or bedtimes if you want a break for the night!
~ The story ~
Don't be put off by the fact that this book is nearly as ancient as me!
The story is about Mog, a lovely, chubby, fluffy, tabby cat with a white tummy and white paws.
Mog belongs to the Thomas family who get very frustrated by Mog's forgetfulness!!
Mog forgets whether cats can fly or not and whether she has had her supper and that cats have milk for breakfast so sometimes she jumps on the table and begins to eat the boiled egg much to the horror of the very refined family!
The family always tend to say "Bother that cat!" as her antics due to her forgetfulness get worse and worse.
But one night, Mog's forgetfulness saves the family..................she not surprisingly, forgets how to use the catflap. Being so cold and hungry and seeing someone in the house, Mog thinks: " Perhaps that man will let me in, perhaps he will give me my supper" so she cries and miaows so loudly and pins herself up against the window in an attempt to get the man's (a.k.a the burglar) attenttion. Im Mog's defence, how does she know that he's a 'bad man'!
Giving him a fright, he drops his 'bag of tools' which wakes the whole family up.............Mr Thomas shouts at the burglar and Mrs T, dutifully rings the police and the burglar says "Bother that cat!"
Mog is awarded a medal and an egg as a reward for indirectly alerting the family to the fact that a burglar was in the house.
And from then on, they never (or almost never) say "Bother that cat!" again!
~ Illustrations ~
Looking at the dress code in the book it is obvious to adults that this was written in 1975 and if you can possibly bear to be reminded of the ghastly fashion of the mid 70s then don't be put off by this fact as young children rarely notice things like that.
Judith Kerr's ability to make Mog look plump and very loveable with just the right amount of fluffiness is second to none.
She has captured emotions on not only the people's faces but also Mog's. When Mum sees that Mog has trodden all over the window box, demolishing the flowers, the sheer shock and annoyance on her face is portrayed really well.
But my favourite picture of all is when Mog is clinging to the window in an attempt to get the burglar's attention so she can be let in. The desperation of Mog to get in to the warm house and be fed is portrayed brilliantly. She looks very much like those Garfields that used to cling to people's car windows in the late 80s (how that craze ever took off I will never understand!)
The drawings are large but still very detailed and there's lots going on to discuss with children.
The only thing that does bemuse me is the drawing of the burglar joining the Thomas family in a cup of tea when the police arrive!!
~ Style and age range ~
I have read this to 3 - 6 year olds and all of them have loved Mog and enjoyed the rest of the series of books.
It's quite a simple text that does enable children to join in with a chant of 'Bother that cat!' which they like to do in very loud, frustrated voices.
The text is not always at the bottom of the page, some sentences are broken up in to 3 sections on a page with illustrations of Mog's antics in between.
~ Prices ~
My hardcover was bought many moons ago and even then was priced at £8.99 (ISBN: 0-00-195507-1)
So try the internet for some great bargains, e.g.
Paperback used and new from 25p
Hardcover used and new from just 1p
Boardbook used and new from 2.29
But there are a wealth of websites selling books online so check them out for deals.
This isn't my all time favourite book but it's up there in my 'good' category, mainly due to the fact that Mog is just so lovable and the facial expressions of bemused, miffed and angry are so well illustrated by Judith Kerr.
Mog is a tabby cat with a white bib at the front and four white paws. She lives with the Thomas family; Mr, Mrs, Nicky and Debbie. Mog likes eating, sleeping in her favourite places, playing, chasing the birds and all those other feline pastimes. Mog particularly likes eggs for breakfast - they are her favourite things of all. I like to think that Mog has eaten so many eggs that she's starting to look like one - her head, with its little ears, bright eyes and snubby, bright pink cat nose is a perfect egg shape. She's got a funny, bemused little face and a tail that puffs up when she's excited. Mog's not that bright though - she's Mog the forgetful cat after all. When Mog is chasing the birds she forgets she can't fly and spends a lot of time falling out of trees. When Mog is washing she often forgets that's what she's doing and gazes into the distance thinking of something else altogether while one of her legs stays sticking in the air. But most of all Mog forgets her cat-flap. It's her own special door but she never seems to remember it's there. You see Mog is a young cat - her mind isn't on remembering things, her mind is on what's happening there and then. "The garden always made Mog very excited. She smelled all the smells. She chased the birds. She climbed the trees. She ran around and around with a big fluffed up tail. And then she forgot the cat flap. She forgot she had a cat flap. She wanted to go back into the house but she couldn?t remember how." Heehee, does that remind you of your cat or your children? Both, I bet. That's the beauty of Mog - she's just like a cat and at the same time she's just like a child. Anyway, Mog forgetting the cat-flap is turning out to be a pain. She is forever leaping up at the window miaowing to be let in. She tramples all over the window box and ruins Mr Thomas' flower display, she frig
htens Mrs Thomas and makes her drop the dinner she is about to dish up. Mog forgetting many other things is turning out to be a pain too. She forgets that eggs are supposed to be a treat and eats Nicky's breakfast egg, she forgets she has a basket to sleep in and gets in the way of Mr Thomas watching TV. Eventually she's chased out of the house by Mrs Thomas. Mog sits alone and miserable in the garden for a while. She's sulking just like a child. But soon, just like a child, she forgets about all that and thinks it must be time for supper. She'd better go in but, as usual, she forgets all about her cat flap. She sees a light in the kitchen and goes to the window to miaow to be let in. It's at this point that Mog saves the day, albeit unwittingly, as she does, albeit unwittingly, in most of the Mog stories. I'm not going to tell you what she does or why she saves the day or who or what it is she saves it from. Mog is too funny to spoil, even for you grown-ups. I will tell you she gets a medal though, and an egg for breakfast. I've been reading Mog aloud to Conor and Kieran since Conor was two, I think. He found the stories funny then and he still finds them funny now he's a "junior in year three cos I'm seven", much as he'd like to deny it. I guess she's nearing the end of her long stay on the favourites bookshelf though because the short sentences and sing-song nursery rhyme rhythm of Kerr's text are perfect for the littler of little ones. They make them incredibly easy to read aloud too. Children laugh at Mog - they identify with the way she lives life for the moment, oblivious to everything but the task in hand, and they love the way she always saves the day by mistake. Kerr illustrated as well as wrote the Mog books and she's got a great knack of putting some of the action only into the illustrations and not into the text. When the Mog is the unwitting cause of yet another
domestic mishap and up goes the Thomas cry of "Bother that cat!" it's often only in the picture that you see the accident. The text remains Mog's own. She doesn't realise what's going on AT ALL. So you can read "as Mog" but break off for a little while to talk about the spilled drink, the broken flowerpot or whatever. And all the time Mog remains in her own little Mog world, gloriously unaware and happily untouched by any Kerr criticism too. We read some of the Mog stories just last night (although I dare say that my big boys would cringe if they knew I'd told you). "So," I said, "How about getting another cat? We could get one that looks exactly like Mog and is just a baby. Is that a good idea?" I'm a cat person you see. I'm sad to say that the answer was, "Oh yes, that's a great idea Mummy, let's do that tomorrow. When it's Christmas, though, can we have a dog? A big one?" Dagnabbit. My children, unlike their mother, are dog children or, that is, they'd like to be. Conor and Kieran would like a dog. A big dog - not a little one, but A Great Big One. They quite like Boxers (because their grandmother has one), they quite like Golden Retrievers (because their other grandmother has one), they quite like Dalmatians (because of the film), but as long as it's big I don't think they'd mind. For about a year now any present giving occasion has engendered a rash of requests for, "A dog please Mummy, a big one". Oh well, sneaking Mog down from the shelf was a long shot and I suppose the prospect of a dog isn't that bad (except for being the poor fool who's bound to have to walk it on wet days). There is some good news though. I've just asked them what stories they'd like tonight and the answer was, "Let's have the next bit of that Arthur book and let's read a Mog story again too." Heehee. It's good to
know that I haven't done overkill on Mog just to serve my own, selfish ends. That would be just too naughty. Mog doesn't deserve it because Mog is a star, she really is. Someone should give that cat a medal. Or an egg for breakfast.
Judith Kerr is one of the best writers of childrens books I have ever known and the Mog the Cat series are absolutly brilliant but this story is my particular favorite and my daughter has to hear this one evry night before she goes to bed. Mog the forgetful Cat is about a cat called mog as you may have guessed who is so forgetful that she does not even remember how to get into the garden. Mum and Dad always say bother that cat and the children are always defending poor old Mog. Mog has a really bad day and gets told off all the time and ends up getting herself locked out of the house when everybody goes to bed. But the tables turn and Mog ends up saving the family from a burgular and the police give him a reward and he gets his favorite breakfast in return and never well almost never gets told off again. The kids will love this book and I;m sure all of the books in the series the illistrations are top draw and really get the kids involved in the story. The Mog books are priced at about 4.99 each but are well worth the money and my little girl can now read the book at 3 years old as she knows every word and picture in the book I would buy it for that reason alone.
Mog, lovely Mog, if you've missed out on the pleasure of reading about her, or having her read to you, is a comfortably built silver and grey tabby cat. She has big long whiskers, a white tummy and paws, and a wonderful range of facial expressions, ranging from bemused, through very bemused, to faintly miffed, to happy in a goofy sort of way. She's our heroine, is Mog, despite, or possibly because of her faults. And she lives with a family called Thomas. Mrs Thomas, rejoicing in a green two-piece and a bad taste in hats, Mr Thomas, complete with yellow tie and socks, Debbie, in a bright pink kilt, and Nicky. This is how the book starts, and it's a proper book, too. Not a board book, but a slim paperback about 25cm by 20cm, with proper words, and proper coloured pictues on each page. So: "Once there was a cat called Mog, and she lived with a family called Thomas. Mog was nice, but not very clever. She didn't understand a lot of things. A lot of other things she forgot. She was a very forgetful cat." And above the words we see the Thomas family, all lined up as if in a freindly family photograph, and nicely ruffled, so they don't look too formal. Here's Mog, too, right at the front, larger than life and wearing a happily goofy expression, looking slightly upwards as if she's seen a flying kipper. So, more of Mog, and her lovely forgetfulness. Turn the page and we have lots of little pictures of Mog, all about her, the forgetfulness, and her catflap. The one I like best is: "Sometimes she thought of something in the middle of washing her leg. Then she forgot to wash the rest of it". And we see Mog, leg held high, looking happy but slightly quizzical. Mog, you'll have gathered, is a cat with character. This is one of the really nice things about her, and the book. I think it's the illustrations that provide the character, th
e text just describes them nicely, really. Having said that, the words have a lovely sing-song quality to them. They don't rhyme, but they do have rhythm, and Judith Kerr uses a limited vocabulary, to specificaly help children who have just learned to read. The repetition of words and phrases is something that helps keep smaller children spellbound, too, but it's not just the words and the pictures, it's the way that both are combined. This is something else I enjoy about the "Mog the Forgetful Cat" - the way the whole book is put together. Sometimes we have lots of little pictures on a page, with words by them, sometimes a spread of two pages is used for one big illustration, sometimes the illustration is on a single side with the words at the bottom, or right, or top. Sometimes the picture curls around the words. I keep seeing, in bookshops and libraries, lots of children's books with a set format of pretty picture on one page, words underneath, and, although this might give an illustrator more room for detail, or for prettiness, it just doesn't give a story the same fun quality that Mog has, in spades, to me anyway. I think Ellie must feel the same. She's still quite little to like such a big book, but it's her favourite for bedtime reading at the moment. She sits on my lap the whole way through it, not squiggling, but pointing, and exclaiming, and enjoying Mog and her scrapes. She doesn't understand the words, of course, but she does like the pictures, and she can tell from them, and the rythm of the words, that "Mog the Forgetful Cat" is a proper story, with a beginning, middle and end. And Mog is funny, too. Just look at her expression as she roams around the garden, and the joyous smile on her face as she comes in through her catflap, simply because she's coming in through her cat flap - oh, and of course when she dreams she has wings and is flying after owls. She's very fu
nny, and very silly, and terribly, terribly forgetful, which is how she saves the day, without realising, of course. So, on to the story, because that's the fun bit, as well as the pictures and the words, of course. Mog is having a very bad day: "Even the start of the day was bad. Mog was still asleep. Then Nicky picked her up. He hugged her and said, "Nice Kitty!" Mog said nothing. But she was not happy." And you can tell, because she's wearing a patient but disgruntled expression. As the day goes on she gets into scrape after scrape. She forgets that cats don't have eggs for breakfast, and eats Nicky's egg instead, then she follows the milkman outside the front door, because it's raining in the back garden, but it might be sunny in the street. It's raining, of course, and she gets chased by a dog, forgets her catflap (she always forgets her catflap), surprises Mrs Thomas, squishes her best hat by accident, can't find a nice place to doze, and, eventually, when the house is ringing with cries of: "Bother that Cat!" she takes solace in Debbie's room, where she forgets Debbie is not a kitten, and then Debbie dreams she's being eaten by a tiger, and then Debbie wakes up in tears, and , oh, poor Mog, she runs out of the house, out of her catflap, and into the garden, where she sits in the dark: "And thought dark thoughts. She thought, "Nobody likes me. They've all gone to bed. There's no-one to let me in. And they haven't even given me any supper" Oh, poor Mog, but silly Mog, too, because of course she's been given supper, we saw Debbie give her supper earlier, and of course she can get in - she's just forgotten all about her catflap again. And this is yet another reason I love this book. There are all sorts of little things to do with the plot, or to do with
Mog, that you can point out while you're reading it. Mog is such a character, and she's so funny, that we sit there exclaiming: "Oh, look at Mog dreaming that she can fly -silly Mog - but doesn't she look happy though", or: "Ha! Doesn't Mrs Thomas look silly wearing her squashed hat", or "Mog, Mog - remember you've got a catflap". There are little details, too, that add to the story - look at the headlines of the paper Mr Thomas reads at breakfast, and you'll spot one. And Mog is such a characterful cat. The pictures are characterful, too. they aren't pretty-pretty, but neither are they big bold bright drawings. Rather, they're a mixture, with enough detail to give a real sense of place, and people, but not so realistic that they're dull. I love them, I really do. Looking at them I'd say they're a mixture of coloured pencil, with oil pastels, some watercolours, and pen and ink used to give detail. It isn't really the technique, though, or the fact that they are 'realistic' without being so realistic as to be dull as ditchwater. I think it's the expressions, the characters, of the whole family, not just Mog, that make them interesting. Mog is the star, though. She's a proper cat, and behaves in a catty way. She's gorgeous, and makes Ellie point and smile, and me giggle. I especially love the picture where Mog, saving the day, quite unwittingly, jumps up at the kitchen window: "She meowed her biggest meow. Very sudden, and very, very, loud" And we see her spreadeagled, all white tummy and paws, against the kitchen window. Cats do that, you know. You open the curtains and -ooh- there's this clambering cat that wants to be let in, hanging frantically off the window panes. I won't tell you how Mog saves the day. Even though this is a book for small children it does have a proper story, and
I don't want to spoil it. But of course Mog saves the day. It's that sort of book, with a proper happy ending, with everything resolved, and Mog's bad day ending on a high note. Mog gets a medal, you know: "She also had an egg every day for breakfast. Mr and Mrs Thomas told all their friends about her. They said, "Mog is really remarkable." And they never - (or almost never) - said, "Bother that cat!" Good for Mog. She didn't mean to save the day, you know, it just happened, and it's a lovely ending, with a big picture of a happy Mog, complete with medal and egg. "Mog the Forgetful Cat" is that sort of book - everything is resolved, and it portrays a lovely, happy, safe world, where everyone is nice, really, and things are all sorted out. Everyone is happy, and justice is done. A proper ending. Of course, this was the first of a few 'Mog' books, but it's definitely my favorite, although we can never decide at bedtime between this one, or "The Tiger that came to Tea", by the same author. "Mog the Forgetful cat" was first published in paperback in 1975, and some of the drawings are a bit dated, in terms of clothes (note Nicky's interesting choice in footwear), stereotypes (it's very nuclear family), and, oh, the look of the kitchen units, I suppose. I don't think it matters that much, though. Mog is so much the star of the book, and cat's don't date. Neither does character. I'm quite glad, in a way, that Mog is an 'old' character. If she was a new one we'd probably have lots of cuddly Mogs, video's of the film of the book voiced by Neil Morrisey, and interactive toy Mogs with voice activated catflaps. I'd hate that. Some characters belong in books, and some books you read to children, or were read to as children, are special. They need to stay as books. Plus, no toy could ever capture the
range of 'puzzled' expressions Mog rejoices in. She's a very individual cat, and deserves her egg (although I don't think she's that bothered about the medal). (All quotes taken from: "Mog the Forgetful Cat", by Judith Kerr, published by Collins, and priced £4.99)
Mog the forgetful cat is part of Judith Kerr's Mog series that she has been writing for over 20 years. Some of you will most likely remember Judith Kerr for 'When Hitler stole pink rabbit' which should be required reading for any child over the age of 10 to give them a feel for a child's life in war time Germany. But back to Mog. Mog is a cat. She's a lovely grey cat and like all cats she has hopes and fears and needs for food and an excessive love of sleep. She is beautifully drawn by Judith Kerr and has just the right amount of soft grey fluffiness about her. She lives with a human family, a mother, father and two children and occasionally a cleaning woman and the stories relate to Mog dealing with her family and eating fish (she gets an entire fish in a dish, not hard food from a bag or soft from a can). Mog's adventures range from being forgetful (the book mentioned above), to going to the V E T, to meeting a baby. These are, as you may have already guessed loving innocent books, with wonderful happy pictures. The text is simple, but doesn't talk down to small children. The illustrations are gorgeous and the characters are marvelously simple and kind. There is no danger of straying into the realms of 'Mog and the rubber transvestite bride and his lesbian life partner' here. Buy one for you child and they will remember Mog fondly forever, but you may have to buy them a cat!
Having been introduced to Judith Kerr whilst at library school in 1970, I was delighted to introduce my young daughter to this book during the early 1980s. Whilst I've occasionally seen it in the library in the years since then, I don't think I've read it right through since those family days, but nostalgic feelings of cosy bedtime stories come flooding back when I see the title. Of course, it helps if your toddler has an affinity with cats, but this is a well crafted book that will bear repeated reading of the text and contemplation of the pictures. Altogether a desirable part of any child's upbringing. Go to the library now!
The first book about Mog, that charmingly bothersome cat who has delighted toddlers for generations.