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Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore
This is basically a story about a cat who has six owners, and because of this fact, ends up eating six dinners every day... truly an independent cat.
~~The Story ~~
We first meet Sid on the first page when we see a sleek black cat sitting by the door of a house on a leafy road. This, we learn is Aristotle street, and sid lives at number 1. But hold on and continue onto the next double page spread; this is where we see more of the street and learn that not only does Sid live at number one Aristotle street but also at numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
The idea is that Sid goes from house to house and gets a dinner in each, and in a series of smaller pictures we see him eat his range of dishes until he looks totally bloated at number 6 where he has finished off the evening with a beef and kidney stew.
This suited Sid just fine and because the people on Aristotle Street didn't talk to each other, he believed he would never be caught out. He sometimes found it hard work having different personalities and names, but enjoyed the getting tickled in 6 different places and sleeping in 6 different beds.
All of this goes on just fine until Sid gets a cough. He gets taken to the vets not once or twice but six times, and has to endure 6 doses of medicine. When the vet phones his "owners" to tell them all that they all share the same cat, they are not happy. Once they have found out, they decide that Sid can have only one dinner a night. By this time though, Sid is definitely a 6 dinner a night cat, and knows he can't settle for one.
So, what does he do? Not happy...move on. He goes to another street and because the people there all talk to each other and all know they share Sid, they are all happy to feed him!!
Everyone a winner.
The picture on the front cover alerts us as to what Sid is going to be like- a sleek and in my opinion rather smug looking black cat sitting in front of 6 empty bowls.
Throughout the book, the illustrations are bold colourful and detailed and depict quite an idyllic street and life style. They are double page and single spread or a series of smaller pictures depending on what the author is wanting to convey. For example, the times she want to emphasise the fact that Sid has 6 of everything- dinners, medicines, beds and personalities, these pictures are done in a series of pictures. This actually enables the reader to compare his different lives and make us really believe he is living them because we can see him in all the scenarios.
The text is written amongst or round the pictures, and tells the story of the pictures. However, by looking at these pictures, we could almost tell a very similar story had there not been words.
~~Other bits of information~~
ISBN: 0-7500-0304-9 (Macdonald Young Books)
Published: 1990 by Simon and Schuster
~~Other books by the same author~~
The author and illustrator of the book has written and illustrated other books including:
Fifty red Night Caps
A Big Day For Little Rabbit
Oh Little Jack
The Truffle Hunter
She has illustrated many books including:
The Jungle Book
The Wind in the Willows
The Secret garden
The Book of Beasts
A story lots of children seem to enjoy. They like the fact that Sid manages to get six dinners and usually feel sad for him when he is found out and all the "owners" are standing in a circle around him looking disapproving. It also seems to appeal to children that Sid manages to find another street and families to take care of him.
The story line itself is quite an amusing one, and encourages children to discuss their pets and their personalities.
The illustrations are appealing because they have enough detail to interest but not so much that it all becomes confusing.
The storyline will probably be too difficult for very young children because the listener has to have an understanding of the things that are going on to understand Sid's life and later predicament. However, the pictures are bright enough to show very young children because they will be able to pick out the cat. I have read it to children of 6 and 7 years old and this seems to work- old enough to understand the story line fully, and young enough to appreciate the simple picture book format.
A simple story which children enjoy.
Thanks for reading.
'Six Dinner Sid' is a delightful and humourous picture book, written by Inga Moore, which tells the story of a cat called Sid and how his life is somewhat complicated to say the least...
Sid leaves in a very pretty place called Aristotle Street. He lives at number one. However, unbeknown to his owner at number one, he also lives at number two, and three, four, five and six as well! He manages to live in all six houses with six different owners with no one realising this at all! We are told that the reason that Sid lives in all six houses is so he can have six dinners (evidently one dinner is just not enough!). These dinners vary from fish to lamb to mince to beef and kidney stew so as you can imagine he is quite a well fed cat! In fact, he is so well fed that it is a wonder that he is not incredibly fat, but as you can see from the front cover he is not!
Now there is a downside to getting all these dinners though! Sid has to take on six personalities and have six different names! Depending on which house he is in, he has to be swanky Scaramouche, busy Bob with a job to do, naughty Satan, silly Sally, smoochy Sooty and rough and tough Schwartz! The reason he manages to get away with this is that no one in the street actually talks to each other!
Well, all good things have to come to an end and unfortunately one day Sid gets a cough! Well, you can guess what happens next. He is taken to the vet six times and given six doses of rather disgusting medicine! It is the vet who realises there is something suspicious going on finding it rather impossible to believe that there are six black cats all living next door to each other and all developing a cough at the same time! He contacts all the owners and they are really very cross and tell Sid that from now on he will only have one dinner a day! This is not what Sid wants though so he decides to move out, and instead move in to numbers one to six Pythagoras Place so that he can continue having his six dinners a day! There is one subtle difference about these new homes though - everyone actually talks to each other so nobody minds about Sid's six dinners! At the end of the book we see Sid happily surrounded by his six loving owners!
My daughters and I really love this book. For one thing, it is a very entertaining and humourous story. They particularly like it when Sid has to have all the medicine, and seeing the look on his face as he does! They also like seeing what he does in all the different houses and think it's funny that no one knows about all his secret lives! There is, I think, an underlying message here though, which is that it's much better to actually know and speak to your neighbours. This is particularly evident when we see the contrast at the end of the story - where everyone seems much happier!
The ilustrations in the book are really very good. Sid is always full of expression and there are lovely pictures of him doing all sorts of cat-like things like being scratched and stretching out to sleep. These pictures make you want to reach out and stroke him! It's also interesting to look at the body language of the human characters especially when they are cross. My daughters could immediately tell how they were feeling without me having to read a word!
There is a lot of wonderful language as well, especially alliteration which I think is quite helpful in preparing children to start learning their phonics. there are particularly a lot of words starting with 's' - the names - Sid, Scaramouche, Schwartz, Sally and also the way they behve - swanky, smoochy and silly. These all roll off the tongue smoothly and my three and a half year old is starting to recognise they all have the same sound!
So, overall I really recommend this book - for its lovely story and pictures and also for the beaustiful language! At present the paperback copy is selling through Amazon for £4.79 new. It has 32 pages and is published by Hodder!
PreSchool-Grade 1-- In Sid's neighborhood on Aristotle Street, the residents don't talk to one another. So it's simple for Sid, a six-dinner cat, to make six different people think he belongs to them. He works hard for his suppers, with six different names and six types of behavior. But when a cough precipitates six visits to the animal hospital, he is found out by the observant vet. His owners agree to make sure he receives only one meal a day, but since Sid is six-dinner cat, he just moves to Pythagoras Place where the neighbors do talk to one another and don't mind sharing dinner with him. Moore's large, colored pencil illustrations are realistic and fill the pages. She is especially strong in portraying individualized characters in the multiethnic neighborhood and the wonderful feline playfulness and insouciance of Sid. The text is rhythmic and the plot is one that children can follow and enjoy. Moore's text and lush illustrations work together to create a book that can be shared one-on-one or with a group. Readers will be happy to have this cat come back again and again.