Geeks sure do love their online kittehs, the reigning feline of the moment being the star of Simon’s Cat, an award-winning series of short animated films that launched in 2008 and instantly became a YouTube phenomenon. Simon’s Cat made the leap to print last year with the publication of the bestselling Simon’s Cat book, and this season sees the release of its much-anticipated sequel, Simon’s Cat: Beyond the Fence.
The first Simon’s Cat book focused on the homelife of Simon’s Cat, giving readers a peek into his daily routine: exasperating his owner Simon with mischievous antics, hatching plans with his garden gnome friend, playing with a family of hedgehogs that live in the yard, and trying (mostly without success) to get one over on the birds who invade his territory. Simon’s Cat: Beyond the Fence offers up another, bigger helping of Simon’s Cat’s charming, signature style of black-and-white line drawings, but instead of being a fairly random collection of sketches, this book’s illustrations string together to form a loose story. After an encounter with the vacuum cleaner, and being subjected to the indignity of a bath, Simon’s Cat decides to hit the road in search of greener pastures. Along the way, he makes new friends and experiences things that he never imagined as a sheltered housecat, but ultimately realizes, as he eventually tires of his wild adventures, that he had it pretty good back home with the doting Simon. On his return trek — during which he reveals how cats are connected to crop circles! — he’s followed by everyone that he’s met on his journey, resulting in quite a reunion with his old friends… and an even bigger surprise for the poor, unsuspecting Simon.
Publisher Canongate Books says on their website — referring to volume one of Simon’s Cat — that “Simon Tofield’s beautiful drawings and warm humour come alive on the page in the first of a series of irresistible stocking-filler humour books”, hinting that readers can look forward to several more books to paw through between film releases. To that tease, fans of the ever-hungry Simon’s Cat can only respond with a demanding “Meow!”, while pointing expectantly to their mouths.
In addition to the books, a line of Simon’s Cat merchandise, such as mugs, calendars, and plush, is available at the Simon’s Cat Official Web Shop. The brand manager of the Simon’s Cat online store promises that “T-shirts will come eventually. We’re working on getting them into the web-shop.”
Simon’s Cat and Simon’s Cat: Beyond the Fence are distributed by Canongate Books and its international affiliates, including Penguin Group (Canada) and Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. For more information about Simon’s Cat, please visit The Official Simon’s Cat Website. Simon’s Cat may also be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.