Simon’s Cat – Beyond the Fence

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Simon's Cat: Beyond the Fence By Simon Tofield, book reviewSimon’s Cat is one of the biggest internet phenomena of recent years. For the unitiated, it was created by Simon Tofield, and is a cartoon of simple line drawings about a cat and his owner, Simon. We never learn the cats name, but we see his antics as he demands food, wants let in and out of the house, steals chairs, and gets up to all sorts with his hedgehog pal in the garden.

In 2009 Simon’s Cat had his very own book. In 2010, he has his second book – Beyond the Fence. There is an ongoing story through the book, as Simon’s Cat leaves home in a sulk (Simon stupidly tries to give him a bath) and heads off into the big world beyond the garden fence. Along the way he meets numerous different animals, gets into various scrapes and demands food from all the creatures he meets before finally heading home.

The simplicity of the drawings is brilliant. They show everything they need to, and no extras. Some pages feature several different drawings, perhaps of the cat having problems with a bit of sellotape, or gradually stealing Simon’s chair. Others have only one picture on them which is a joke in itself.

Artwork aside, what makes Simon’s Cat work more than anything else is that everyone who has ever owned a cat will be able to see the truth in it. The first internet video featured the cat trying to wake Simon up to feed him – while using a baseball bat to wake his owner up is maybe something our cats can’t do, I have no doubt that my cat would if he could. I mentioned that this book features a page of the cat gradually stealing Simon’s chair – who has had a cat that hasn’t done that? That is the beauty of Simon’s Cat. Other cat cartoons are hilarious and often feature cat traits we all know and love, but Simon’s Cat is true to life – with just a touch of exaggeration.

Simons’ Cat is undoubtedly one of my favourite cartoon characters, despite only having been around for a few years. Every page of Beyond the Fence made me giggle, if not laugh out loud. Simon’s Cat is Everycat, recognisable instantly to all cat owners (well, cat servants). It is simple humour, purely visual and suitable for all ages. Beyond the Fence makes a perfect Christmas present.

And now that you’ve finished reading this review, I strongly suggest you visit YouTube and search for Simon’s Cat. You won’t regret it.


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Simon’s Cat - Beyond the Fence
by Simon Tofield

2 Comments on "Simon’s Cat – Beyond the Fence"

  1. Freelance Cameraman
    26/01/2011 at 21:41 Permalink

    I love the “Simons Cat” videos and just reading this revue has planted the thought about buying the book. (for myself) Maybe I’ll try a bit of animation…

  2. koshkha
    31/01/2011 at 16:14 Permalink

    Hi Eilidh
    My copies of books one and two from the CBF book auction arrived last week and I laughed the whole way through. Whilst no cat has all the traits of Simon’s cat, almost everything he does is something I’ve seen in one of the 6 cats that have shared my life – right down to playing with the hedghogs (my old boy Rocky LOVED lying on the hedghog nest and bringing home ticks and fleas).
    Barbara

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Written by eilidhcatriona
eilidhcatriona

A Scottish lass in her late twenties living in London. A prolific reader always interested in something new.

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