Books Elma Family Kitty what we're reading

Slinky Malinki {what we’re reading}


“Slinky Malinki was blacker than black,

a stalking and lurking adventurous cat.”


If ever there was an author who’s books begs to be read aloud, Lynley Dodd is she.  The tale of Slinky Malinki wraps itself around your tongue and the adventures of this rapscallion cat, charming and perfectly well behaved by day, but a mischief maker extraordinaire by night, unfold with perfect cadence.


It’s a strange analogy I know but the only way I can describe it is to say that it’s like reading music; it’s the same feeling I get singing in close harmony, listening to my voice move to the next note and hearing how it has been perfectly placed at that pitch and that moment to give depth to the whole.  Lynley Dodd’s words have the same precision.

I don’t know whether it’s the cat connection, but there’s something about Slinky Malinki that reminds me of TS Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and the poems Dad used to read to me at bedtime when I was small.  You get the feeling that Skimbleshanks and Slinky Malinki would get on rather well!


Sniff Snuff Snap by the same author was our gateway to children’s picture books when Kitty was still very tiny, and it too is a firm favourite around here, but for Kitty at the moment, the cat beats the warthog, possibly because she just loves trying to say Slinky Malinki, or “Slinky Maninki” as she calls him.


After each of his nighttime raids on the local neighbourhood, Slinky Malinki gathers up all of his loot and takes them home, and Kitty loves to join in with:

“He pulled them,

he dragged them,

he HEAVED them until…

he’d carried them home

to his house on the hill.”

and if ever I find her reading the book to Elma, that’s the bit she remembers.


Of course our feline friend can’t get away with all this naughtiness for too long, and after one last epic raid he comes to a sticky end, and has to mend his ways, but that naughtiness is his charm, especially to Kitty (and I suspect a large number of other tiny people) who thinks that someone else being cheeky is absolutely hilarious (particularly if it’s Mummy or Daddy)!

Slinky Malinki, Lynley Dodd, review, toddler books, childrens book

And judging by the very Slinky Malinki-esque attempts at making off with the book whenever Kitty’s back was turned, I rather suspect that we have another small fan in the house.



Maggie Stone

Do go and say hi to Lucy and Kelle and see what they’ve been reading, and if you’ve seen something you think we all ought to be reading, please join in the linky.


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  • mandycharlie 24/09/2013 at 8:59 am

    oooh I like Slinky Malinki, sounds wonderful.

    • Carie 24/09/2013 at 10:45 am

      It’s another family favourite that I’m never going to be able to get rid of! When I’m a little old lady I’ll be living in a house constructed entirely out of boxes of books at this rate!

  • Actually Mummy... 24/09/2013 at 9:59 am

    My all-time favourite book to read with the kids. I suspect I’ll still be trying to make them listen to me well into their teens! Beautiful photos too.

    • Carie 24/09/2013 at 10:42 am

      Thank you! It’s such a lovely book to listen to that I suspect if you were forcing them to listen to you they might do the teenage reluctance thing on the surface but secretly rather enjoy it. I’ve always loved having my Dad read Skimbleshanks even when I got all big and grown up!

  • Anna-Marie 24/09/2013 at 10:25 am

    I saw this book in Waterstones this week. My boy is obsessed with cats! I was tempted to buy it, I am even more so now!

    Gorgeous photos xx

    • Carie 24/09/2013 at 10:40 am

      It’s fate! The universe is clearly telling you that you should hot foot it back to Waterstones to buy it for him!! If you do get it I promise you’ll love it.

  • Lyn 24/09/2013 at 1:13 pm

    Oh, we love Slinky Maliniki in this house. We’ve been reading him since L was tiny and have over the last couple of years added Scattercat, Hairy McClary of Donaldson’s Dairy and Hairy McClary & Zachary Quack. L can pretty much recite the whole of Slinky and Zachary Quack. They are great books and I love the vocabulary – bumptious and bustly, frisky and hustly, frolicking, skedadling, pilfered and pillaged. It is just wonderful to see such complex words being used in children’s books. They are such musical books. A real joy to read.

    • Carie 24/09/2013 at 11:27 pm

      I think we’ve got one of the Hairy McClary books somewhere but Kitty ate most of it when she was quite small and before I’d memorised all of the story – it sounds like we might need to revisit the ruins to see what can be salvaged – or start her Christmas wish list a little early! It’s so lovely to find books that don’t dumb themselves down for children; why shouldn’t three year olds have all the fun of saying skedadling!