Nat the Cat

nat the cat

Nat the Cat
Can Sleep Like That

Victoria Allenby
Illustrations by Tara Anderson
PajamaPress, 2013

From the dust jacket: “Nat has a talent for sleeping all day long. Name any place in the house and Nat can sleep in, on, under, or sprawled across it. In fact, Nat is so devoted to slumber that the kitten’s energetic escapades don’t bother him one bit, until …
“When the night time quiet falls,
When strange shadows fill the halls,
“Now Nat is all fired up and ready to go! Will the kitten be able to keep up, or is it time for her to find the perfect place to settle down for a wee nap?
“Victoria Allenby’s rhythmic verse perfectly accompanies Tara Anderson’s irresistible art. Cat lovers young and old will delight in this not-quite-ready-for-bedtime treat.”

Toby particularly loved this book when I read it to him – he likes anything that stars a ginger man-cat. But I think it’s because the way and where Nat sleeps. Just like Toby, Nat can sleep on his back, in drawers, half-on and half-off a shelf, in sunpuddles and always in mom’s way when she’s busy around the house. Me? I find the most comfortable spot around – mom’s bed – at least 99.9% of the time! At night, also just like Nat, Toby seems to get a second wind and tears around the house like a madcat, tearing up the place!

This is a fun book for kittens; the book jacket says it’s a good bedtime book, but I don’t think so – it’s liable to excite your kittens rather than settle them down. Maybe you can read it to them after naptime to get them going again. The rhymes are easy, the printing is large and a mix of black and white/yellow on dark and white background, and the illustrations are so cute!! We really enjoyed it!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for a sleeping ginger cat like Toby!!!

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon

 

SandRider

sandrider

SandRider
TodHunter Moon, book 2

Angie Sage
Illustrations by Mark Zug
Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint HarperCollins Publishers, 2015

From the dust jacket, “It’s been two months since Alice TodHunter Moon – who insists on being called Tod – left her home in the seaside PathFinder village to pursue a life of Magyk in the Castle. Being Apprentice to ExtraOrdinary Wizard Septimus Heap is tricky, though—there’s loads of new Magyk to learn, and she dearly misses her friends Oskar and Ferdie. But at least she’s mastered the UnSeen Charm.
“She’s lucky she has, too—that UnSeen will come in handy when she sets out with Oskar and Ferdie on a perilous journey to retrieve the Egg of the Orm from the Desert of the Singing Sands. If they don’t reach the Egg before it hatches, the new baby Orm could imprint on the evil sorcerer Oraton-Marr, giving him unlimited Magyk to do with what he wishes….
“Bursting with humorous and poignant moments, SandRider celebrates the satisfaction of taking charge of one’s path in life—unexpected adventures and all.”

So, you’re probably wondering, what the heck is an “Orm?” An Orm is a gianormous worm who eats solid rock and excretes the gem stone lapis lazuli, which is extremely important for crafting Magyk. When it hatches it’s like a baby dragon but at some point it transforms into a worm. The previous book Pathfinder the saw the egg stolen by the evil sorcerer Oraton-Marr, who wants an unlimited supply of lapis for himself so he can be the most powerful wizard in the world. In SandRider it’s a race against time with the good guys versus the bad guys to get to the Orm first so when it hatches it will imprint for good and not evil.

Another rollicking adventure by Angie Sage that is, at turns, harrowing, frustrating, and exciting. Her new character TodHunter Moon is very likable and the reader roots for her the whole way, hoping she will get to the Orm in time. (I can’t tell you, of course – that would spoil it for those who want to read it!) These stories are well-crafted, fast-paced and once they grab hold you have to keep reading until you get to the end. I’ve already started the third book, StarChaser, and it promises to be just as exciting as the other two.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because I love a good adventure story with a little mystery and a whole lot of Magyk thrown in!!

Reviewer:

toby-loc

Toby

The Catawampus Cat

the catawampus cat

The CATawampus Cat
Jason Carter Eaton
Pictures by Gus Gordon
Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, 2017

From the dust jacket, “Sometimes all it takes is a small shift in perspective to help you see what was right there all along.” “Catawampus (cat-uh-wahm-pus) n. <1. Diagonal or at an angle. 2. Askey, awry. As in: The catawampus cat walked into town one day, and that’s when everything began to change.”

Do you remember the following nursery rhyme?

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

This story has nothing to do with a crooked man, mouse, house or cat, but for some reason it reminds me of it. Maybe it’s the crooked cat – but this cat is catawampus, not crooked! That means he walks around town at an angle which causes a lot of the townfolk to look at him – and their lives – differently. Without knowing it (or, maybe he does) he changes everything around him – and at the very end he changes himself!!!

Love the illustrations – particularly how the artist incorporates paper clippings into his illustrations (which, by the way, has inspired Mom to make some new collages!) The cat is cute, although the way he is drawn, it looks like he walks around with closed eyes – but maybe that’s to show how aloof he is to what goes on around him. The print is a medium size and printed in black on mostly light-colored backgrounds so it will be easy to read for most kittens.

Rating, 4 out of 5 paws because like all cats, he remains unique and an enigma to everyone. Also, the illustrations are inspiring to Mom!!

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Yoko

yoko

Yoko

Rosemary Wells
Hyperion Books for Children, 1998

From the dust jacket: “What a great day it’s going to be! Yoko’s mother has made her favorite sushi for lunch and packed it in a willow-covered cooler. The bus whisks Yoko to school where she greets all her friends and joins in the Good Morning Song. But when lunchtime arrives, suddenly everyone notices Yoko’s sushi. The teasing starts and her happy day evaporates.
“With an uncanny understanding of the pleasures and pains of an ordinary school day, Rosemary Wells has created a tender, irresistible story, true to the heart of childhood.”

This is a sweet picture book with cute illustrations that deals with a sometimes hard subject of rejection and bullying. It helps that all the animals are cute and the teasing isn’t too harsh, but it hurts Yoko all the same. Thankfully the school teacher works things out and the students are all friends again at the end of the book. Yoko is a cautionary tale of not liking someone and being mean to them just because they’re different and eat different things. We’re all the same under our skin and/or fur and it’s a good lesson to learn while your kittens are still young.

The book has large, black print on white background so early readers will be able to read it and learn about how to make sushi! Hmmm, reading this book has made me hungry for some tuna and shrimp!!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because the illustrations are cute and the lesson is taught gently.

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon

 

Pathfinder

pathfinder

Pathfinder
Todhunter Moon, Book One

Angie Sage
Illustrations by Mark Zug
Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2014

From the dust jacket: “When Alice Todhunter Moon was five years old, she saw a beautiful golden Dragon Boat fly over her Pathfinder village. She knew at once that the boat was Magykal. That was years ago, before her mother died, her father disappeared at sea, and the Garmin took her best friend Ferdie.

“Now it’s up to Tod and Ferdie’s brother Oskar to rescue Ferdie from the Garmins’ keeper, the malevolent Lady. Their journey takes them to the Castle, where they receive help from the ExtraOrdinary Wizard Septimus Heap and ex-ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand. But the Lady’s brother, Darke sorcerer Oraton-Marr, has a plan that will put everyone Tod holds dear in danger. To save her people, Tod must embrace her identity as a Pathfinder and navigate the Ancient Ways, mysterious Magykal paths leading to unfamiliar—and sometimes dangerous—lands.

“Taking place seven years after the story arc of the original bestselling Septimus Heap series, Pathfinder celebrates the joy of discovering one’s own personal Magyk and of choosing the path that lets that Magyk flourish and grow.”
It’s been several years since I read the Septimus Heap series so it was nice to be reunited with some familiar characters in Pathfinder. It’s like being reunited with old friends and the author kindly catches the reader up on what has happened in their lives since the last book ended. But this book is about new characters in the wide orbit of Septimus Heap. We go on an exciting journey with Tod, from her almost idyllic home life, to the mysteries of being a Pathfinder, to the terrible danger of Darke Magyk. The story is immensely readable, full of adventure and magical events. Even if you’ve never read the Septimus Heap books, you’ll find this book entertaining because while it ties in with those previous books, it is also able to stand alone – well, with the other two books in the series! I’m starting the next one tonight and I can wait to find out what happens with Tod, Oskar and Ferdie as they do battle with Oraton-Marr!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because Angie Sage does not disappoint!

Reviewer:

toby-loc

Toby