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!!






The Improbable Cat

the improbable cat

The Improbable Cat

Allen Ahlberg
Illustrated by Peter Bailey
Delacorte Press, 2004

From the dust jacket, “It all begins when David’s family takes in a stray kitten. At least, that’s what the creature appears to be. But David and his faithful dog, Billy, immediately sense something terribly amiss. Then indeed “something crazy—impossible—horrific” happens….”

The story is told from David’s viewpoint – as a witness to a very, very strange occurrence. His family does indeed take in a small grey kitten, but from then on, the kitten – if you could call it a kitten – transforms into something weirdly cat/human-like and hypnotizes David’s family into serving it day and night. Only David and his dog, Billy, are unaffected. Somehow David has to rescue his family – and get rid of the “cat”.

This is a great little mystery – what could the creature be? What is it doing to David’s family? And why? All these questions – and more – popped up in my mind as I read this book. The copy I read is small (only 4.5 x 6.5 inches) and 92 pages long, but it packs a punch. Its classified for youth but, really, adults would enjoy it as well. This is the kind of story you read (or tell) around a campfire at night or some other spooky location. The ending is a little less than satisfactory – but that’s because David still has questions about what happened. If you like ghost stories and unanswered mysteries, this is the book for you!!!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for being creepy, spooky and fun all at the same time.




the improbable cat a

This is how the story begins.


the improbable cat b

This is how it almost ends!!!

More Jenny Linsky and the Cat Club Adventures

2 More Adventures of Jenny:

jenny's moonlight adventure

Jenny’s Moonlight Adventure
A Jenny’s Cat Club Book

Esther Averill
The New York Review Children’s Collection, 1973, 1949

From the back of the book, “Hallowe’en, a special night for black cats everywhere, but especially for Jenny, the shy little black cat in a red scarf from Greenwich Village!

“At nine o’clock the entire Cat Club will convene for an even that each and every one of the cats, from Romulus and Remus, to wise old Solomon, has been eagerly awaiting: the beautiful Persian, Madame Butterfly, will be performing a concert for them on her crystal flute. Except Madame Butterfly has hurt herself and – not only that – she has lost her flute! Where can it be, and when they find it, how can they get it back to Madame Butterfly so that she can play? Hallowe’en is Jenny’s night, and it’s Jenny who comes up with a plan, a very adventurous one, too. But will she pull it off?”

Of course, Jenny pulls it off! It wouldn’t be a Jenny Linsky story if she didn’t! She faces her paralyzing fear of dogs by outsmarting them, helping her friends in the process.



the school for cats

The School for Cats
A Jenny’s Cat Club Book

Esther Averill
The New York Review Children’s Collection, 1973, 1947

From the back of the book: “Jenny Linsky, the shy little black cat of Greenwich Village, has never been to school. Until, that is, the day her master, Captain Tinker, decides it’s time for her to study cat lore in the country. The School for Cats seems like a scary place at first, full of strangers who know how to do all sorts of clever things that Jenny doesn’t understand. Worse still, Pickles, the Fire Cat, famous for chasing all the littler cats around with his fire truck, is a student there! He frightens Jenny so much that one day she runs away.

“But she doesn’t stay away for long. After an adventure in the forest that helps her feel braver, Jenny realizes she’s ready to face school and Pickle’s teasing. Which is how Jenny learns a lesson in courage and Pickles in consideration, and the two become friends for life.”

Wow! I wish I could go to school like Jenny! The school is like sleep-away camp but much more fun! Even though Jenny ran away from Pickles at first, she learns to stand up to him; this is the same Pickles that was in the first book I reviewed, Jenny and the Cat Club.

The copies I read are printed large enough for early readers and the black and white pictures are adorable with accents of red, yellow and orange. Please check out these little books for yourself or your kittens!!


Rating for both books: 4 out of 5 paws because I love this series for its gentleness and innocence – perfect for young kittens who are not yet jaded by the insanity of the world.




Purr M for Murder

purr m for murder

Purr M for Murder
A Cat Rescue Mystery

T. C. LoTempio
Crooked Lane Books, an imprint of The Quick Brown Fox & Company, LLC., 2017

From the dust jacket, “Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina, and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat – along with Littleton’s dead body.

“Local homicide detective Will Worthington—who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush—is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local business whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death—until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.”

Toby and I argued over who would read this book – I said I should because it’s the protagonist is female and he said he should read it because the story revolves around an orange and white tabby named Toby who solves a murder. We decided to read it together; he of course wanted to emphasize all the ‘Toby’ parts, but since I’m writing the actual review, I’ll tell you about the whole book.

We both enjoyed this little murder mystery – it had us guessing until the end – the murder of Littleton takes place off stage – so there’s no violence in the beginning, but things do get a little dicey for Sydney when she uncovers who the murder is and they try to get her. (Toby wants to insert here that his namesake saves the day!!!). I liked the concept of surrounding this ‘cozy’ at a pet shelter – and the cat café idea is really cool to let folks meet their new feline companions.

It’s a standard genre mystery – with the main character a strong, independent-minded woman who is not in law enforcement but gets involved in solving crimes and has a relationship with a man who is in law enforcement, who continually cautions her not to get involved but understands and forgives her when she gets herself into trouble. That’s not a bad thing – its’ just part of the genre. I wouldn’t want a steady diet of these books, but they’re a nice break from all the other books we read and review.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because the story is an enjoyable and convoluted mystery with likeable characters that includes cats!!! Toby wants to interject here that he gives it 5 paws because the hero of the book is Toby!

Reviewer: BobbieSue




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???