Can I Sit in the Middle?

Can I Sit in the Middle?

By Author / Illustrator

Susanne Strasser, Melody Shaw


Funny Stories


Gecko Press




Board book




Everyone's on the sofa to share a book: zebra, cat, child, lion.  "Wait!" says Zebra, "Stork isn't here yet!" Then the cat needs a cushion, the hamster's missing, someone's sitting on the lion's tail, the fish wants to be in the middle... NOW they'll be able to start-won't they?

In this fun, cumulative story, the familiar chaos of piling onto the sofa with friends builds to a climactic hullabaloo until the happy ending of sharing a book in an ideal reading spot-behind the sofa under the blanket tent.

Susanne Strasser's snowballing animal stories that children love are bestsellers in multiple languages.



A child sitting on a sofa calls to the others that it is time for a story and soon, Zebra, Cat, Hamster, Lion and Child are all ready to read.  However, interruption after interruption prevents them from starting the book until everything is tipped upside down and they are all ready at last.

Full of gentle humour and celebrating the love of reading a good book, Can I Sit in the Middle? is perfect for sharing. As the story builds, it cries out for little ones to join with the repetitive phrases as each new creature appears on the scene and the range of vocabulary used to describe how each speaks makes it a joy to read aloud and 'do the voices'!

The 'child' in the story is carefully not gendered either by the illustrations or the use of language, allowing anyone to see themselves in the story. The situation is a familiar one which children will recognise as reading has to be delayed for first one thing, then another, but there is a strong feeling of togetherness and joy as the company gathers in each anticipation of the pleasure a good book can bring.

The illustrations are wonderful. The illustrator has managed to capture a real sense of the feline in the cat and there are many details which add to the humour of the story like the rhino's bunny slippers and how all the popcorn seems to disappear!

The sturdy pages mean that this will survive the many readings and readings the story is sure to demand!

22 pages / Ages 2+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 0+


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