Francis the scaredy cat ISBN: 9780744588941
Published by Walker, 2002
Francis is a tad unusual: he likes to read and take bubble baths - not activities most cats are known to enjoy. But he also loves Ben, who is kind. Francis has a secret, though, even from Ben. he is afraid of the dark, and most of all, of a hissy monster who seems to live in a tree outside the window on stormy nights. One night when Ben is late, Francis bravely conquers his fear of the dark to go look for him. Frightened that the monster has got Ben, he climbs the tree - only to find another cat rather like himself but bigger - a wild cat. The cat is friendly and helps Francis climb down, where he finds Ben waiting. The illustrations make this outstanding. Firm brushstrokes give a chalky effect, and the dark night is very black indeed. There really is a monster in this story, but it's a helpful one, and we learn that monsters are rather like ourselves.