Slinky Malinki - Literary Cat
The Saga of Slinky Malinki
Most people only know Slinky Malinki as one of the cats that gets chased by Hairy Maclary, but there's a lot more to Slinky than just a blacker than black cat.
Slinky Malinski, that stalking and lurking adventurous cat, traveled his own personal road to Damascus and changed his ways. Now while I'm all for retaining the personality blessed upon you at birth, in some cases a change can make the difference between social rejection and social acceptance.
There's plenty of controversy about the new leaf that Slinky turned over, but I leave it to you to make up your own mind.
Slinky at Work
Who is Slinky Malinki?
Slinky Malinki is a handsome black cat who has a funny kink at the end of his very long tail. During the day he is a perfectly charming fellow, playing with leaves and lying in the sun but, as night falls, Slinky turns into another kind of cat altogether.
The woman who feeds me is a great fan of Slinky Malinki. She has been reading the stories of Slinky's adventures to her own small humans for a number of years and I naturally picked up a fondness for this particular black cat myself.
Slinky Malinki, Open the Door
Slinky Malinki, the reformed cat, is back and joined by a parrot named Stickybeak Syd.
Together the two of them begin to raise a ruckus as they work their way through the house room by room. It is up to the black cat to jump and open each door.
Slinky learns how to master the doorknob. One of the great developmental milestones in any kitteh's life!
Children love Slinky
I have not yet come across a child who doesn't instantly respond to the beautiful rhythm of the language in Slinky's tales. There's just the right amount of repetition in the rhymes to create a sense of anticipation. The bouncy text creates an air of excitement which we know in our hearts has to come to some sort of unexpected end. The illustrations are exemplary. Lovely too.
Slinky has no human attributes, he is pure cat with a mischievous glint in his eye. His adventures have thrilled me, inspired me to try my paw at a modest rhyme or two myself and, as for the dastardly Scarface Claw. that shabby feline has made my hair stand on end!
About Lynley Dodd
New Zealand produces fine artists. One of these is Lynley Dodd who graduated from the Elam School of Art in Auckland with a diploma in Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture.
There was no looking back as she went on to write and illustrate her own books for children. Exuberant artwork and bouncy rhymes come together perfectly in books like Slinky Malinki and Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy. As well as being a visual delight, these are some of the most rewarding books for children and adults to read out loud. It comes as no surprise that, as a child, Dodd adored Dr Seuss because of his "crazy sounds and the fact that he took such liberties with the English language."
My collectible Slinky
At one time you could get little Slinky Malinki replicas with the purchase of one of his books. They must have all been quickly sold out - there's certainly no more to be found and you can't get them anywhere, for neither love nor money.
My little toy is therefore a collectible!
Sorry you can't get your own Slinky, but you can read about his adventures in these books.
Hairy McCleary is joined by a gang of other dogs (some have their own books) as they explore the fascinating happenings down the street. But a terrible cat gets in the way of their capricious canine behavior.
Most people I've bumped into know more about Hairy Maclary from Donaldsons Dairy than they do about Slinky.
It's understandable I suppose, Hairy now has his own film, The Hairy Maclary Series, and besides, everyone knows dogs get better press than black cats. Even black cats with very long tails.
Here he is - Hairy McCleary from Donaldson's Dairy.
Scarface Claw is the toughest tom in town. No dog or cat can stand up to him, he scares everybody! (At the catshow he was crowned Surliest Cat).
But what's his real story? Is he really as tough as everyone thinks?
What could possibly frighten a tough tomcat who scoffs at thunderstorms, dogs, and sirens?
You'll enjoy Slinky Malinki and the rest of Lynley Dodd's work too.
She clearly captures the full power and aura of feline independence, real humour and night-time magic with her vivid illustrations, simple rhyme and splendid language.
People don't teach children to read, children learn to love reading. If the little ones are read to, they soon realise the joy in the printed word and you won't be able to hold them back. The Slinky Malinki books are just wonderful to read aloud.
Do you know any other literary cat? I prefer black cats but, if you know of another not fortunate enough to bear a deep lustrous nightshade, you can still leave the name for me. I enjoy a good read. Or just send me a small pat on the head.