The fifth adventure about Ava and her invisible cat, Squishy McFluff, this is a truly delightful story that will be enjoyed by children new to the series and those who are already a fan.
Ava and her invisible cat – Squishy McFluff – are off to the seaside for their latest adventure together. They have great fun digging in the sand towards Australia and sitting on the beach eating ice cream. (Although the adults who fall in their hole and the ice cream man may not share their enthusiasm.) Everything is purr-fect until invisible cat Squishy decides to chase an invisible fish. Now it’s up to Ava to stage a ‘seaside rescue’…
This is a truly delightful story that will be enjoyed by children new to the series and those who are already a fan. Children who have an invisible friend like Squishy will easily understand Ava’s commitment to him, never wavering from the certainty of his reality. They’ll also love the slapstick humour, especially when the ice cream man’s attempt to locate an ‘invisible’ cat in his van causes the switch to become jammed and frozen in place resulting in a never ending flow of ice cream.
Adults will smile for a different reason. They’ll definitely equate to the way dad rolls his eyes when Ava uses Squishy as an excuse to extract money for an ice cream. Adults will also understand when daddy tells her to just imagine him back. Luckily mum is on hand to take the problem seriously and is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to solve Ava’s imaginary problem.
The text itself is strong and children will love the fact it’s written in rhyme. They may struggle with the odd word but the context should be enough for them to gather the meaning.
The illustrations don’t just help comprehension, they add a whole new dimension to the story. Without any words, we see the adults stumbling into the hole Ava has dug and there is an entire storyline in the pictures in which a lost man is rescued from a remote island (because the life guard finds a note in the bottle that Ava says Squishy has been using as a life raft.)
Suitable for a bedtime story for four to five year olds and for six and seven year olds to read for themselves, this is the prefect bridge between a traditional picture book and longer stories for emerging readers. Split into short and manageable chapters the style and layout of this book will also give new readers the satisfaction of reading a more grown up book.
If you enjoyed this, don’t miss Ava and Squishy’s other adventures. Why not start with Squishy McFluff: the Invisible Cat! by Pip Jones. Alternatively, why not try one of the Claude adventures by Alex T Smith.
Date: June 2016
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Author’s Website: Squishy McFluff
Review first published on The Bookbag