'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 21 October 2010

Author Interview - S.Smith

Kids Book Review is delighted to welcome S.Smith -  the creator, author and illustrator of adorable series Hey Silly Cat!  

When I began my first children's picture book, I wanted to offer kids and adults something which both could enjoy, together, without all the mess of a message or moral. 

Simply a funny story. 

Or perhaps not even a story; maybe just a funny character with whom they could interact, and through which they could interact with each other.

Thus did I imagine Hey Silly Cat! a series of books for kids and their adults in which a naughty cat - and what is a cat but naughty? - rhymes about all manner of mischievous things he wishes to do to some unfortunate animal. (In his first book, for example, the cat wants to tease a dog.)

And does he ever actually do any of these mischievous things?  Well, no. Not in the books. He begs the readers to allow him to have his way, and the readers must counter back with refrain of "Hey silly cat! Don't [insert ornery action]!" 

And that's it. Thirty-two pages of humorous rhymes, bold illustrations and naughtiness.

So what's so special here? Well, this is a book with which kids are encouraged to interact in a very vocal way; it's their job to remind the cat that he's not supposed to do whatever naughty thing for which he's asking permission. 

It's a funny book. It's meant to entertain kids and encourage their love of books-as-entertainment from an early age. 

The illustrations are clean and modern and appealing to kids of today's youngest generations.

And it allows kids control of the reading experience by giving them the responsibility of supervising the cat, who, in many respects, behaves as a child himself. 

And this is something children really enjoy... bossing that naughty cat around.

See more on S.Smith's naughty cat at his very own website... heysillycat.com and learn more about the man behind the cat naughtiness at ssmithillustration.com.

If you want a copy of the book, you can order direct from the publisher in the States - salzmanbooks.com/hsc01.html or, for a very limited time, you can read the book online for FREE! Yes you can! Just head here - ssmithillustration.com/childrensbookweek

About the author

S.Smith is also a (web) designer with SalzmanBooks and a lover of philosophy, Nabokov, and all-things-cartoons. He lives in the US with his dog Maxwell and his naughty cat Georgette. His other work includes illustration of the Mike's Adventure Packs travel series for kids.