The Hotel Cat

the hotel cat


The Hotel Cat
A Jenny’s Cat Club Book

Esther Averill
The New York Review Children’s Collection, 1969

From the back of the book: “On a cold winter night the heat goes off in Jenny Linksy’s house and Captain Tinker tells Jenny and her brothers Checkers and Edwards that they will all be spending the night at the Royal Hotel. As it turns out, this is no ordinary cold snap: this is the Big Freeze. Boilers all over the city are breaking down and people and pets are crowding into the hotel. In the midst of the confusion, Jenny is delighted to encounter her old friends from the Cat Club.

“Tom, the hotel cat, used to be a stray, living a tough life on the streets. One day he showed up at the Royal, and soon he was earning his keep as a mouser. But what’s Tom to do when so many new cats suddenly show up on his territory? Can he trust them? His friend Mrs. Wilkins has lived at the hotel for a long time and knows how to talk to cats. She persuades Tom to give the visitors a warm welcome. Which is how Tom and Jenny and the members of the Cat Club all come together to put on the unforgettable gala Stardust Winter Ball!”

So, with this Jenny’s Cat Club book we meet 2 new cats – one who, as it turns out, is from a previous book that we haven’t read – Jenny Goes to Sea. Our library doesn’t have it so it may take a while for us to find a copy to enjoy. But, nonetheless, the new/old character is Jack Tar, a ship’s cat that spends his shore leave with Captain Tinker and kitties. But the new cat, and the main one of this book, is Tom, former stray, now The Royal hotel cat. And what a character he is, too. He is at turns an old softie and a bit of a bully in the beginning but he learns to be tolerant of other cats and makes some forever friends.

Another charming addition to the Jenny’s Cat Club series; there are lessons in tolerance and acceptance, and in working together for the common good. I especially liked the addition of 2 humans to the story – these humans are special because they can converse with the cats easily and give them room to be cats. We wish all humans could do that!!! As with the other books, the print is a medium size so it’s good for somewhat experienced readers and older kittens may want to practice reading by sharing it with their younger siblings. The line drawings are sweet as well, although I did miss seeing Jenny’s scarf not printed in red! We’ve enjoyed the whole series and look forward to reading the other two somewhere down the line!

Rating 4 paws out of 5 – for storytelling at its finest and dancing cats!!





Captains of the City Streets

captains of the city streets

Captains of the City Streets
A Jenny’s Cat Club Book

Esther Averill
The New York Review Children’s Collection, 1972

From the back of the book, “Sinbad and The Duke are two young tramps. They live on the streets and love “the free and easy life.” But they need somewhere to practice their boxing technique, so they leave the skyscrapers of Midtown for the houses and gardens of Greenwich Village—home to Jenny and the Cat Club. There Sinbad and The Duke find the perfect tumbledown backyard shack to call home and befriend a lonely kitten named Macaroni.

“When Sinbad and The Duke first happen to observe a meeting of the Cat Club, they’re sure that with its “Rules and Obligations,” it just isn’t their sort of thing. But the Cat Club turns out to need them, and before long the two street-smart fighters find reasons of their own to join the charmed – and charming – circle of Jenny and her friends.”

This prequel to Jenny and the Cat Club tells the history of Sinbad and The Duke as well as how Macaroni came to join the Cat Club. As with all the other Jenny books, this book is fun and sweet and an enjoyable story for kittens and adults alike. I would normally say I wouldn’t want to live in New York City, but the Greenwich Village where Sinbad and The Duke make their home sounds like a wonderful place to live. It is a rarity, of course, about cats living on their own with a kind human to feed them and provide a feeding station that has shelter from the wind and rain. Unfortunately, not all stray cats have humans who look after them, but it’s nice to think they do. And, I like how Sinbad and The Duke are so absolute in their refusal to join the Cat Club but they realize how lonely life on the streets is without friends and they ended up changing their minds.
Rating 4 out of 5 paws it’s a charming story (like the publisher said!) that is fun, sweet and suitable for all kittens. It also helps them to learn to be kind and generous to those stray cats who are in need.





The Cat Book

the cat book

The Cat Book

Silvia Borando
Candlewick Press, 2017
minibombo, 2013

From the back of the book: “Say hello to your new cat. You can tickle his chin and hear him purr. But wait – was that a raindrop? Don’t let him get wet!”

This little picture book is for the earliest of readers and even tiny kittens. The pictures are very simple and full of bright colors; the text is super large with short sentences and words. The story line asks for the reader (or listener) to be involved by naming and petting the large orange cat; by squashing the cat’s fleas; trying to keep the cat from getting wet and eating a bird. This is one of those books that may require you to purchase for reading over and over and over and over again. But see if your library has it first!


Rating 4 of 5 paws because of the sweet, yet simple story and the fun interaction between reader/listener and book. Even I scratched the cat under the chin!!






Jenny and the Cat Club

jenny and the cat club

Jenny and the Cat Club

Esther Averill
New York Review of Books, Children’s Collection, 1973, 1944

From the back of the book, “In Greenwich Village an orphaned black cat lives happily with her master, a sea captain. Still, the gentle Jenny Linsky would like nothing more than to join the local Cat Club, whose members include Madame Butterfly, an elegant Persian, the high-stepping Macaroni and the stately, plump Mr. President. But can she overcome her fears and prove that she, too, has a special gift? Join Jenny and her friends, including fearless Pickles the Fire Cat, on their spirited downtown adventures and discover why The Atlantic Monthly has called Jenny “a personality ranking not far below such giants as Peter Rabbit.”

Jenny and the Cat Club is the first in a short series of early reader books published originally in the mid-to-late 1940’s and is absolutely adorable. Jenny is a sweet black cat who longs to ‘belong’. She gets her wish and together with the other members of the Cat Club goes to her first party; loses her treasured red scarf (and gets it back again); and brings home two new ‘brothers’ for her master to adopt (he does, of course!). This little book is full of sweetness, innocence and the joy of being young.

The illustrations are simple black ink drawings with highlights of red, yellow and orange – very cute, too!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because how can you not love a black cat???





2 Cartoon Books

cat getting of a bag

Cat Getting Out of a Bag
And Other Observations

A Cat Book by
Jeffrey Brown
Chronicle Books, 2007

In this nearly wordless book, the author/illustrator relates everything cat lovers love (and hate) about their felines in a cartoon format. Misty is the cat protagonist and through her the reader learns where cats come from (the cemetery); that cats love you one minute and are pouncing on your ankles the next; cats know when you are upset and (may) try to comfort you; and that cats are, in general, mysterious and fabulous creatures that graciously allow humans to take care of them.

Rating: 3 ½ paws out of 5 because I like the book for it’s true portrayal of cat activities but I didn’t laugh as much as I wanted to.


my pet human - Copy

My Pet Human Takes Center Stage

Yasmine Surovec
Roaring Brook Press, 2017

From the back of the book: “The adorable My Pet Human chapter book series continues at the pet fair, where a little kitten threatens to upstage Oliver!”

Oliver, a rotund black tuxie, sneaks into his human’s backpack and goes to school with her. While at school he finds out about a pet fair the school is having to help the local animal shelter. Freckles (Oliver’s human) decides to help out by not only fostering a kitten but teaching her and Oliver some tricks to perform. The foster kitten out shines him in almost every way and he is jealous of the attention she is receiving. So, at first Oliver is reluctant to learn the tricks but then when he realizes treats are involved he tries his very best to learn them. The day of the pet fair comes around and Oliver is ready to perform his tricks to perfection…or is he???

Rating: 3 ½ paws out of 5 – I liked Oliver and his story, it’s perfect for early reading kittens. My only complaints are that the illustrations aren’t in color (I know, I’m spoiled!) and the narrative print in the story is a bit small for early readers but the dialog bubbles are a nice large size. But all in all, a very cute book!

Reviewer of both books: