If ever there was an author who’s books begs to be read aloud, Lynley Dodd is she. The tale of Slinky Malinki wraps itself around your tongue and the adventures of this rapscallion cat, charming and perfectly well behaved by day, but a mischief maker extraordinaire by night, unfold with perfect cadence.
It’s a strange analogy I know but the only way I can describe it is to say that it’s like reading music; it’s the same feeling I get singing in close harmony, listening to my voice move to the next note and hearing how it has been perfectly placed at that pitch and that moment to give depth to the whole. Lynley Dodd’s words have the same precision.
I don’t know whether it’s the cat connection, but there’s something about Slinky Malinki that reminds me of TS Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and the poems Dad used to read to me at bedtime when I was small. You get the feeling that Skimbleshanks and Slinky Malinki would get on rather well!
Sniff Snuff Snap by the same author was our gateway to children’s picture books when Kitty was still very tiny, and it too is a firm favourite around here, but for Kitty at the moment, the cat beats the warthog, possibly because she just loves trying to say Slinky Malinki, or “Slinky Maninki” as she calls him.
After each of his nighttime raids on the local neighbourhood, Slinky Malinki gathers up all of his loot and takes them home, and Kitty loves to join in with:
“He pulled them,
he dragged them,
he HEAVED them until…
he’d carried them home
to his house on the hill.”
and if ever I find her reading the book to Elma, that’s the bit she remembers.
Of course our feline friend can’t get away with all this naughtiness for too long, and after one last epic raid he comes to a sticky end, and has to mend his ways, but that naughtiness is his charm, especially to Kitty (and I suspect a large number of other tiny people) who thinks that someone else being cheeky is absolutely hilarious (particularly if it’s Mummy or Daddy)!
And judging by the very Slinky Malinki-esque attempts at making off with the book whenever Kitty’s back was turned, I rather suspect that we have another small fan in the house.
Do go and say hi to Lucy and Kelle and see what they’ve been reading, and if you’ve seen something you think we all ought to be reading, please join in the linky.