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1001 Fred
Added on 09th September 2020

Author and Illustrator Posy Simmonds
First published 1987
Publisher Jonathan Cape, London, UK

Nick and Sophie adored their lazy pet cat but after his death they are amazed when his secret double life is revealed.

Story

Sophie and Nick adore their cat Fred. They and all the neighbours remember him fondly as one of the laziest cats in the world. When he dies Nick and Sophie discover there is a whole other side to Fred. Far from sleeping all the time, they discover he has been leading an exciting double life...

Why we chose it

Who hasn’t wondered what their cat gets up to at night? A comic strip story with layers of detail in the illustrations - a funny and inventive and wildly imaginative story which also sensitively addresses the death of a much loved pet.

Where it came from

Rosemary Elizabeth "Posy" Simmonds MBE (1945-) is a British newspaper cartoonist, writer and illustrator of both children’s books and graphic novels. She had the idea for writing Fred after a young friend’s death. In the days following the funeral, she started to draw cats as undertakers in a sketchbook which she went on to use in her story.

Where it went next

After the success of Fred, the story was adapted into a 26 minute long Oscar nominated cartoon in 2016, retitled Famous Fred. Working alongside British animator Joanna Quinn, Posy Simmonds created an additional character, Kenneth, Fred’s guinea-pig manager and the story’s main narrator.

Associated stories

Posy Simmonds has gone on to achieve success with many books including Lulu and the Flying Babies (1988), Lulu and the Chocolate Wedding (1990) and Lavender (2005).

Added on 09th September 2020

Author and Illustrator Posy Simmonds
First published 1987
Publisher Jonathan Cape, London, UK