Charlie was anxious to check out our advanced copy of "Kitten Chaos"!
Simon Tofield created the original Simon's Cat video, "Cat Man Do," in 2008, when he was teaching himself to use animation software.
In the five years since then, Tofield has gone on to release dozens of other "Simon's Cat" videos, which have drawn over 280 million eyeballs to date. When you think about it, that's an especially impressive feat, considering that each short clip is simply illustrated in black and white, with no text or dialogue, except for Tofield himself, who provides the cat's signature "Meow." The English animator, who was once told to quit drawing and get a "proper job," now has his own design team, and a growing empire, which includes books, calenders, t-shirts, cat beds, and more.
His third book, "Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos," will be released in paperback and digital format in the U.S. by Akashic Books on April 16. The spirit of the animated cartoons is evident in the book of illustrations, which just like the films, uses images to tell stories, without any words needed.
Simon's Cat in Double Trouble
"Kitten Chaos" expands on the storyline (as seen in shorts like "Double Trouble") of Simon bringing his new kitten home, and the immediate conflict it causes with Simon's Cat. Throughout the course of the book, the two cats fight, play tricks on each other, and generally cause mayhem, in a way that will be hilariously recognizable to anyone who has ever had to contend with two pets who don't get along.
Charlie tries his paw at the drawing tutorial.
The U.S. edition includes bonuses such as a sheet of color stickers, along with directions on how to draw all of the characters, including Simon, his cat, the kitten, a mouse, a hedgehog, a rabbit, and more.
Some interesting things I learned from the background info I received: Simon Tofield actually has four cats, named Jess, Maisie, Hugh, and Teddy. He draws on inspiration from all of them when illustrating the cartoon, however Hugh is the one considered to be "Simon's Cat." Another interesting fact? While Simon's Cat is portrayed as a plump white puss, Hugh is actually a black kitty! As Tofield told The Guardian back in July, "It had to be white to make the graphics work."
"Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos" is available for pre-order now through Amazon, and will be in bookstores everywhere on April 16. To learn more about Simon's Cat, visit the website at SimonsCat.com.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review, but all opinions expressed in this post are mine (and Charlie's).