The Pip-Pop is fourteen months. His favourite word is ‘cat’. He’s also very fond of ‘hat’. ‘Hat’ involves a long-running joke in which he places a book, a sock, or a buttery piece of toast on his head, smiles his devastating smile and says ‘hat’, then waits for our appreciation. We, of course, laugh every time. Or at least – in the case of the toast – smile and sigh, ‘Oh, Pops!’ while rubbing at his head with a baby wipe. Someone must have taught him this. I fear it was me.
Anyway, back to ‘cat’. His Christmas stocking contained the perfect book for a cat-loving baby: Petr Horáček‘s This Little Cat. Its differently sized pages are perfect for chubby little hands to turn and it builds to the most delicious joke: the last cat is ready and waiting to eat you up. The Pip-Pop roars with delight as the final page is turned. He’s even added ‘tiger’ to his repertoire. Quite something for someone who refuses to recognise the existence of dogs – far too suspiciously cat-looking to need their own word.
This Little Cat is just right for even the very tiniest of readers. And also funny enough that the big brother (very nearly four) is happy to sit in on the joke. Over & over.
Bonus: our introduction to Petr Horáček’s delightful illustrations, Honk, Honk! Baa, Baa!, also comes highly recommended by the Pip-Pop. His very favourite at around six months, and still much loved.