Library and Information Advisor Imogen Tink recommends the Squishy McFluff short chapter book series by Pip Jones & Ella Okstad, starring an invisible cat who is always up to mischief.
“Have you imagined enough? Oh good! You can see him! It’s Squishy McFluff!”
For fans of furry friends, the antics of Squishy McFluff are great for encouraging an enjoyment of reading. Ava, an imaginative child with a penchant for sweet treats, has a pet cat named Squishy McFluff. But there’s a twist… Our old pal Squishy isn’t real! But he still manages to get Ava into all sorts of scrapes!
The series is packed with familiar landscapes, making it especially accessible to developing readers. The language used is perfect for expanding vocabulary and the playful rhymes are fun to read aloud. The idea of an imaginary friend, let along an imaginary pet, is enough to get young minds roaring away.
There are six short chapter books and one picture book in the series so far, so plenty for young readers to get their teeth into:
- The Invisible Cat!
- Supermarket Sweep!
- Squishy McFluff the Invisible Cat Meets Mad Nana Dot
- Secret Santa
- Seaside Rescue!
- Big Country Fair
- Tea with the Queen
My personal favourites are The Invisible Cat!, Big Country Fair and Seaside Rescue!. A day out with Squishy is never dull, and Seaside Rescue! is a particularly funny tale that shows the sheer chaos that can occur when you mix a girl, her imaginary cat and an overflowing ice cream van.
Pip Jones has written a variety of other titles for children, including the Izzy Gizmo picture books with Sara Ogilvie, all about an aspiring young inventor:
Jones is also the author of the the Piggy Handsome books with Adam Stower, suitable for more confident readers and filled with lots of fun:
If you have enjoyed the Squishy McFluff stories, you might enjoy the Nipper McFee series by Rose Impey and Melanie Williamson. As a similarly naughty feline, Nipper is always getting into trouble with someone, usually with hilarious results. Just search for Nipper McFee in our catalogue to see and reserve the full range.