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!!

Reviewer:

peggysue-loc

PeggySue

 

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.

Reviewer:

peggysue-loc

PeggySue

 

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???

Reviewer:

peggysue-loc

PeggySue

 

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

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