Cyril is all alone until he meets Pat. They have brilliant fun together and every time someone tries to tell Cyril something about Pat, Cyril is quick to say what he likes about his friend, Pat. However, when Cyril finally realises that Pat is a rat, everyone tells him that squirrels and rats should not be friends. Sadly, Cyril listens and finds life is nowhere near as much fun without his best mate. When Cyril is in danger, however, it is Pat, his true friend, who comes to the rescue.
This is such a powerful book. Like a little child, Cyril has no preconceptions about Pat; he just sees a like minded soul-someone he really enjoys being with. It is the other characters who try to impose their prejudices and stereotypes onto Pat, telling Cyril what he should think. Although it is all said as if they have Cyril's best interests at heart, this is clearly not the case as Cyril then finds himself alone. Intolerance and prejudice are such relevant topics to everyday life and this story offers the perfect way into empathetic discussions about acceptance and feelings.
The illustrations are just a delight! The joy on Cyril and Pat's faces as they play together contrasts perfectly with the unhappiness which follows when they are separated. There are so many details to notice and enjoy as well. The shops all have such relevant names and the picture showing how Slim chases them around the park is just brilliant!
A treasure of a story with beautiful illustrations, 'Cyril and Pat' is a must have for every classroom.
Cyril and Pat Emily Gravett
Two Hoots ISBN: 978-1509857272