Despite having grown up in deepest sunniest Devon I don’t have a west country accent. I think I sound rather more homogeneously southern, with a good sprinkling of Scottish and Yorkshire slang that I’ve caught from H. But it is one of the few accents that I can imitate fairly accurately and fairly consistently, and so whenever I get the chance to do voices for a story, well, who doesn’t relish the opportunity to talk like the stereotypical pirate.
(For the record, the other accent that gets most use in our house is Scottish – although apparently mine sounds exactly like I’m from Ross & Cromarty despite the fact that I’ve never been there, nor is it anywhere near H’s family origins so I haven’t picked it up off them either!)
And if you’re going to sound like a pirate then you might as well be reading a pirate story, especially if it’s got a bit of a twist.
Because in Cats Ahoy!, it’s not the people that are the pirates!
With rumours abounding of a gigantic catch of haddock heading back to harbour, a certain scallywag named Alfonso decides to round up his friends and put to sea to, shall we say, intercept, the fishing trawler with what looks to all intents and purposes like a ghost pirate ship, ringing from bow to stern with unearthly wails and moans.
It’s enough to frighten even the saltiest of sea dogs and the crew quickly abandon ship for the lifeboat leaving the haddock to be ‘taken care of’ by Alfonso and pals, while then return home with only a story and a missing ship.
The captain and crew might have been taken in by the ghost cat pirates, but there are a few people back home who have their suspicions about what truly happened, though they’ll never be able to prove it when all the cats will say is:
I’m not sure quite who our sympathies are supposed to be with at the end, though I do have a soft spot for the cook forced to abandon ship without trousers or shoes, while Elma gives her position away by trailing the book around after her telling everyone she meets “I pie-rat”.
Either way, it’s been a sure fire hit at bedtime!
I know there’s been a bit of a surfeit of Peter Bently stories around here recently, but I hope you’ll forgive the repetition; I promise there’s a very good reason for it, because as you see, these are the books that are loved, hugged, carried around, rescued from down the side of the bed and lodged firmly in our girls’ minds – to the extent that Elma calls all sharks “Shark in Dark!”.
And as Cats Ahoy! also won the 2011 Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the shortlist to which is one of my go-to sources for new books to try out, you don’t just have to take my word for it either!
Last wek Vickie was very appropriately Halloween themed with Meg and Mog and Jess found a gorgeous bedtime story for little ones in One Sleepy Night.
Next week What We’re Reading is having a little hiatus because it’s Armistice Day and I’ve got a little something special planned but we’ll be back the week after with more lovely things to read, and every excuse to start getting a little Christmassy!
So for now, if you have a favourite, or just something fun your little or not so little ones have enjoyed reading lately please do join us. The linky is always open for the whole week so there’s plenty of time. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you to tell me what we should be reading!