Allison's Book Bag

A Very Fuddles Christmas by Frans Vischer

Posted on: December 21, 2013

I adore Fuddles, a picture book cat created by Frans Vischer. Perhaps that’s why, despite some repetitive ideas and the lack of a fully developed story, I still enjoyed A Very Fuddles Christmas.

For those unfamiliar with Fuddles, he is a fat and pampered cat. Fuddles first burst into the picture book scene as an indoor cat who seeks out an outdoor adventure but, through a series of hilarious mishaps, realizes that indoor life is actually pretty good. Now, Fuddles is back just in time for Christmas. Sadly, no part of the holiday season is for him. Not the delicious meal, the toys and treats, or even the Christmas tree. When Fuddles lands into trouble for climbing the ladder, he scampers away in a panic and finds himself …. outdoors. Just like in the first book. Except this time, there’s snow on the ground. Which means, unlike the original story, Fuddles very much wants back inside. In his first adventure, Fuddles can’t figure out how to get home. In this second adventure, he can’t figure out how to get back to his house. Yes, there is a difference in the tale, but there’s also enough overlap that one could view it as the recycling of an idea. While this might bother adults, I don’t think younger readers will care. In fact, they will probably appreciate the familiarity.

As Fuddles tries to find his way home, danger lurks everywhere. True to form, Fuddles bravely faces the elements. The cold. The wind. The squirrels. This is where I wish Vischer had taken a little more time on developing the drama. As any cat would, Fuddles chases the squirrels. Then he follows them up a tree and onto a roof. Where they escape, but he tumbles down a chimney. Where suddenly everything about the holiday season is for him. More attention to the interactions between Fuddles and the squirrels might have made this a more original tale. More explanation of why his family doted on him immediately after his return might have helped the story hold together better. A Very Fuddles Christmas isn’t without its faults.

Yet Fuddles is every inch a cat. Both aggravating and adorable! Cat owners will find their own pet on the pages. The artwork is also super cute. If you haven’t already Vischer’s first book about this cocky and spoiled cat, I’d recommend reading it first to become a fan. Once you’re hooked, you’ll want to read A Very Fuddles Christmas too, because it’ll be about an old friend.

My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.

How would you rate this book?

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