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Slinky Malinki - Literary Cat

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Vladimir is a former champion ratter (retired). His hobbies are bushwalking, birdwatching and nature studies


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!

Lynley Dodd


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.

Dodd began to work as a freelance illustrator and collaborated with author Eve Sutton on My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes

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.

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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 Maclarey

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

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.

Wave your paw at Slinky Malinki and friends

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on July 24, 2013:

I have visited here before but Slinky coaxed me back again. I think I would love to have a metal image of Slinky on the fence on my backyard fence. That is such a cute image.

LynetteBell from Christchurch, New Zealand on April 02, 2012:

My dog is often called Schnitzel von Krumm when we go for a walk. He can't understand why cats don't like him sniffing them...he just wants to be friends! Lynley Dodd is a great author

Fran Tollett on April 02, 2012:

We LOVE Slinky Malinki!! It's a great book to read. We also like Fancy Nancy and My Weird School Daze. GREAT fun to read and be read to.

Lemming13 on October 03, 2011:

I love these books, I read them to both my kids (we had black cats at the time, so it was even more fun for them). I also love Barbara Sleigh's Carbonel stories; Ursula Moray Williams' Gobbolino the Witches' Cat; and there's a lovely book called Magnifi-cat by Carolyn and Edmund Sheehan.

natashaely on September 07, 2011:

I love Hairy Maclary and Slinky Malinki, I have read them on several occasions in a childrens reading group i used to run. The children loved them and they are wonderful to read as they flow beautifully, the language is easy to make exciting for them and they are some of the best childrens books on the market.

anansigirls lm on June 02, 2011:

When my daughter was a toddler, she had a period where she just did not want to eat. In order to keep me from getting stressed, I started to read Slinky Malinki to her at the dinner table, and IT WORKED. She started eating again (while my dinner got cold). We still have the book and take a look at it now and then. However, I didn't even notice that it was from New Zealand. The story is just so universal. Thank you for the lens.

SaltyMac on December 11, 2010:

Love your lense! Thanks for introducing us to slinky!

Sensitive Fern on September 29, 2010:

I used to have a cat named Clouseau and he spent a lot of time in my library room. (This sounds like Clue, doesn't it?) He was a fan of Dostoevsky, Hawthorne, and Kafka. I've not heard of Slinky Malinki - I guess he hasn't made it to Iowa. :)

Mona from Iowa on September 22, 2010:

Well Budda and I are quite surprised to have never heard of Slinky Malinki before, (because you know Budda is a well read cat.) We'll have to check it out and we're lensrolling to Ask The Budda lens.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on August 21, 2010:

I had never heard of slinky before - thank you for enlightening me...I am most impressed :)

snazzy lm on July 07, 2010:

Slinki Malinki stories are known off by heart by young and old in this house :-)

Indigo Janson from UK on March 17, 2010:

Slinky Malinki sounds like fun, and I love the way the collectible looks like you, Vladi!

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