Thursday, 20 July 2006

Cats and Cricket

Langer was out for 342 in what might be his only first class match of the season before returning to Perth; presumably he'll go home full of confidence and form! Anyone else from Australia want to come over and play for a county? Perhaps we might send a few of our players out there to get experience playing for state sides in the winter. hmmm.

Just finished The Outlaw Varjak Paw, a children's book, in fact a sequel, about a group of "outlaw" cats fighting to defeat the evil gang boss Sally Bones and restore freedom for the cats of the city. It reads a bit like a computer game, with Varjak needing to get past challenges and though fights until he meets the big bad boss at the end. It is a very easy read - I would say ideal for Y4 and Y5s, and the characters are clearly drawn (nothing too complex about them though); with some nice subtexts about the value of dreams, transformation, failure, faith, the importance of courage and some allegorical scenes set in Varjak's dreams. There are a few gruesome scenes though, which surprise you in their brutality. The question is whether brutality is justified in a work where ethics are set out like building blocks to defend against it. I would say so. It's not pointless violence and I think the characters are too thin for readers to be devastated by anything. The first book is pretty good too (I think that is just Varjak Paw). Some good use of illustrations and messing about with text.

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