Review Copy Courtesy of the Megan Newell
Fluffy’s Tale comes to us from Australia. It’s a picture book that’s told in rhyme with a lilting rhythm and introduces us to a cat named Fluffy…
And boy, is Fluffy seriously NOT happy. His human beings have gone and done the UNTHINKABLE: they have brought home a kitten.
Fluffy is going to have none of this mess and he packs up his stuff and gets out of there. He’s going to go find a new friend. Ciao.
He shows up outside of the dog’s house thinking maybe he can be friends with the dog – but upon giving him the once over – Fluffy decides that Rex is way too old and scruffy. Yeah, no, Fluffy can’t be friends with him. No way.
(My boys gasped OUT LOUD when I read this part. They were both, “No way! You can say that to someone! What a mean cat!” And they’re right, it was pretty shocking to watch this cat prance up to a dog and start insulting him. My little one declared, “That cat has some issues!”)
But Fluffy doesn’t stop there – oh no! He’s off. He runs into some alley cats and is like, I’d be your friend if your whiskers weren’t awful. (Again, the kids are gasping, my eyebrows are raised. This cat needs some social skills.)
Fluffy prances off, finds a tree, and then curls up dreaming of the perfect mate. (My eldest asks, “He’s looking for someone to have kittens with??? And I explain, no, in Australia, it’s common to call a friend – a mate. Which was fun to talk to him about.)
Anyway, back to Fluffy. Fluffy wakes up the next day and it’s hard to believe – but Fluffy hasn’t made a single friend yet. He comes across some birds – the birds are all, Yes! We’ll be your friend. But Fluffy turns them down cold. He comes across a horse. The horse wants to play and be friends. Fluffy still isn’t having any of this.
The horse then asks Fluffy exactly what the readers have been wondering all along:
What in the world is your problem and have you thought about seeing a professional for help? “Why?”
Fluffy then proceeds to insult the horse about her nose. (My eldest declares Fluffy to be meaner than Grumpy cat!) After insulting the horse, Fluffy sets his eyes on alienating a nearby duck. Fluffy just walks up to Fred the duck and tells him that they can’t be friends because his perfect friend would have to have clear eyes. (This has me ad libbing, “Nobody even asked you Fluffy! Fred was just in the pond minding his own business!” My kids are giggling, we’re all beyond shocked with Fluffy at this point. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such an insufferable character in all of children’s literature. He probably has a genuine personality disorder and is a borderline sociopath. He’s a serious piece of work and in dire need of some counseling.)
Fluffy’s then consoling himself and upset because woe-is-him he cannot find the perfect friend. Then a butterfly comes along and declares he is the perfect friend and tells Fluffy to look in the water – because he’s about to witness a perfect team.
And, the butterfly explains calmly and gently, if Fluffy would just look – and pay attention to what’s inside and not the way they look – he’d find that the right friends are everywhere. Then the original kitten that made Fluffy want to leave shows up – Fluffy sees the error of his ways – and Fluffy, the Butterfly, and the kitten head back home as a new group of friends.
It’s an experience, folks! Fluffy is as memorable of a character as they come. He’s a fantastic example of how not to make friends and how to alienate people – and it’s wonderfully reassuring that if there’s hope for Fluffy to find people who love him, there’s hope for every single last person, too. Bless those kind critters that help Fluffy see where he went wrong – they will save the world a lot of grief.
My kids love this book. I imagine for them it’s almost like a watching a slow-moving train wreck — Fluffy’s behavior and actions are so unconscionable and unbelievable — you can’t stop watching and you just can’t believe what you’re seeing. Then you get to breathe a collective sigh of relief when Fluffy gets that if he’s nicer, and doesn’t judge people by their physical features, his world will be a much better place.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen my children be so appalled at anything as they were at Fluffy’s behavior and it was fun to watch their reactions and their shock. The rhythm and rhyming makes it a lot of fun to read – and the kids love for me to read this book to them over and over again. The illustrations are friendly, charming, and drew my children instantly in.
Fluffy’s Tale is a fabulous cautionary tale that skillfully demonstrates in a way even very young children can understand — that friendship and a wonderful life can often times be found right in front of you – if only you’re not a terrible jerk about it all.
Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit. It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”