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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Cats, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 391
1. Illustrator Interview – Lita Judge

This interview arose from one of those serendipitous moments. I had been liking all Lita’s posts on FB about her new picture book FLIGHT SCHOOL for several weeks and had been thinking that I must see if she would like … Continue reading

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2. Bunny Books: A Round-Up of Rabbit Books

Move over doggy and kitty books (unless you're a book about a cat that wants to be a bunny), adorable bunny books are in abundance and multiplying all of the time. Whether you're looking for an Easter basket filler, a simply sweet tale or something classic like The Velveteen Rabbit, we've got you covered—and twice on the "Velveteen" front.

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3. Alleycat has a word

Listen up, Human!Alleycat had a little word with me yesterday. He’d heard me talking and he knew I was contemplating writing a post that has nothing at all to do with cats.

“You know that’s not possible,” he drawled, “I can’t allow that, not in my blog.”

“I quite understand, Alleycat,” I said, deferentially. “Why don’t I start a new blog and then I can write about other things in that blog and carry on documenting the Ginge Club’s adventures here?”

“You mean you’d write about non-Ginge Club matters?” Alleycat was surprised; he obviously found the concept far-fetched and in rather bad taste; he wrinkled his eyes in disgust and curled his lip scornfully. “Surely you can’t be serious, old chap?”

I affirmed that I really was determined to depart from the norm and write about new things, and when he heard this Alleycat had a little smile at my expense. He narrowed his eyes and advised me to watch my step.

“I want you to make absolutely sure that the two blogs don’t overlap,” he said. “If you can promise me that I may give you my permission to divide your energies, but mark my words, I don’t want you slacking and the Ginge Club posts must always take precedence. I won’t tolerate anything less.”

Alleycat had made his humble wishes known and I had listened very carefully and obediently to his wise words. At least, that’s what I made him think.Very amused Later on we gave Pink the news, and she was really agitated and uncertain for about ten seconds and she wondered where it would all lead. With any luck it’ll lead you here.I'm worried, really worried!


3 Comments on Alleycat has a word, last added: 4/7/2014
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4. The Ginge Club and the kestrel

HPIM0530Nothing much has happened in the Six Foot recently, except for the kestrel. It was seen hovering two days ago, and yesterday, all in a rush, it swooped down and took a pigeon from next door’s garden. Everyone heard the screams. Alleycat doesn’t mind kestrels, or hawks, unless they get too big for their boots and start to trespass on his territory. Some folk say that cats are the villains of the piece where Mother Nature is concerned (they’re always on the hunt, apparently, looking out for prey) but Alleycat isn’t like that.  He’s a sage, a meditative sort.  He says that it’s Mother Nature who’s responsible and everyone (cats and humans too) have to treat her with respect and understand that She contains them and gave them all their lives (nine if you’re a cat). If a hawk kills a pigeon, or takes a vole, well, that’s Mother Nature for you, red in tooth and claw. There’s nothing to be done about that sort of thing. It’s life. But Alleycat won’t tolerate conflict on his lawns. His lawns are private, sacred to his clan , and he maintains a careful watch on his fences and Bamber’s out all hours (he has his orders) patrolling the Five Streets and putting down markers, while Alleycat remains indoors and sleeps and thinks and lays his plans. The sentinelWhen Pink saw the kestrel she was pretty scared, I can tell you. But Alleycat sent Bamber on to the roof of the car-port, to keep watch on the perimeters, and that hawk hasn’t been seen since. He’s probably heard of Alleycat’s great power and understands there are better (meaning safer) places to hunt and trespass than Alleycat’s private lawns.HPIM0655


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5. Sketches: Cats, Blobs and Feathered Friends

Yes, I love studying. So I've just started on The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design's Module 4, having taken the previous 3 Modules last year and loved them. The e-courses are doing me a ton of good and, if anything, letting me know how much I have as yet to learn about art and design. It's the first week of ABSPD, and I've been sketching Things and Characters. Here's a bit of what I've come up with so far. I'm calling this first one "Cat Blobs" ...

 

Cat blobs by floating lemons

 

I don't know about you lot, but I really want it on a print and, oddly enough, a tea towel - perhaps even a journal/notebook! The second one was just organic blobs really, and I'm not sure where it came from but quite liked it:

 

Organic blobs by floating lemons

 

And this final one was an attempt to sketch birds. OK, it needs more work, but I can see a few there that can be improved on and used for something later, what do you think? Any favourites?

 

Feathers and feline by floating lemons

 

I'm not too sure of how that cat got in the bottom of the page, but it probably thought the birds just too good to resist. I'm off to sketch more today, let's see what pops up. Can you tell that I'm thoroughly enjoying this?

WIshing you a day full of pleasant surprises. Cheers.

 

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6. A Peck of Pepper and other books about Peter

What are the odds of the first three books waiting to be listed this morning all having the name Peter in the title? Each was chosen at random, and it was only as I listed book number three that realisation dawned. Was it a coincidence or should I be looking for a hidden meaning?  

Peter and his Indian friends was first out of the box.  So maybe a trip to India is on the cards?


 Next Peter and the Wolf – now what could that mean?


And finally, Peter Pan and Wendy, maybe I really am going to be flying off somewhere! Or perhaps the universe is trying to tell me I'm away with the fairies  : )


Once I started thinking about the name Peter, I realised just how many times it appears in children's books.  This is one of my favourites, although the name doesn't appear in the title;  

A Peck of Pepper with pictures by Faith Jaques

Did you know? A peck is a unit of dry volume, equivalent to 2 gallons or 8 dry quarts or 16 dry pints. Two pecks make a keening, and four pecks make a bushel. 


A quick look through my stock produced a surprising number of ‘Peter Books’ these are just a few;

Peter and his puppy illustrated by Willy Schermele. Peter Graves an extraordinary adventure by William Pene du Bois. Peter Pedal by H. A. Rey.

Ezra Jack Keats Peter's Chair

Peter's Bird Friends written and illustrated by Helen Haywood. Peter and his magic pebble written and illustrated by Peter Schermele. Peter Pippin one of the Blackie's easy reading books illustrated by Frank Adams.

The Peter Stories - Peter and the animals - a series of little stories told by a boy named Peter. The picture in the centre is taken from Peter a Cat O' One Tail published in 1892 with illustrations by Louis Wain. The World of Uncle Peter - The paper dragon - when Uncle Peter sits down to draw strange things begin to happen.



On the left Peter Pan illustrated by Nora S Unwin, 1955 and on the right Peter Pan and Wendy illustrated by Michael Foreman, 1988.

Three of the most famous 'Peter characters' are probably Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, Der Struwwelpeter (or Shockheaded Peter) by Heinrich Hoffmann and Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. Can you think of any more?

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7. Deborah Underwood & Claudia Rueda Discuss “Here Comes the Easter Cat”

It's rare that an author and illustrator get to work closely together while creating a picture book—this makes it very fun to get a peek into a conversation between a picture book duo that have been paired together by an editor and live in two different countries. In the case of the adorable Here Comes the Easter Cat, bestselling author Deborah Underwood wanted to know how award-winning illustrator Claudia Rueda managed to capture both Cat's crankiness and his sweetness.

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8. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kitty Kelly

o.kelly.jpg
Above art by Jill Bauman, a World Fantasy Award nominated artist who specializes in horror and fantasy. Bauman has a whole set of cat holiday paintings in the link. Confession: back in the day I had a bunch of these prints hanging up in my office at Vertigo. Bauman is an accomplished artist but I find these cats a bit more disturbing than endearing! I’m not sure if that was the intent or not, but one thing is certain: YOU CAN’T LOOK AWAY.

1 Comments on Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kitty Kelly, last added: 3/17/2014
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9. Doodles and Drafts – A Blog Tour with Alison Reynolds

Alison ReynoldsA couple of years ago a diminutive orange cat sprang into our hearts and homes courtesy of picture book creators, Alison Reynolds and Heath McKenzie. That cat was, Marmalade. He caused quite a sensation around our home, so when we heard he was on tour with Alison Reynolds, purrs of satisfaction reverberated throughout the house once more.

Alison Reynolds is no stranger to children’s fiction, but when she teams with illustrator, Heath McKenzie, her work is picture book paean.Heath McKenzie 2

A New Friend for Marmalade, sequel to the hugely successful, A Year with Marmalade, is a simple story about making new friends. But as we all know, the art of forming and maintaining friendships is seldom that straightforward. Hierarchy and the delicate differences between boys and girls all begin to surface in early primary years, making social interplay more of a challenge.

A new friend for MarmaladeWhen Toby, the boy across the road attempts to join BFFs, Ella, Maddy and Marmalade, things go instantly awry. Toby’s endeavours to fit in are not particularly successful nor welcomed by Ella and Maddy. He is over-exuberant, clumsy and dresses funny. Marmalade, however, sees him differently.

In Marmalade’s moment of crisis, his gamble on Toby pays off and beautiful new friendships are forged all round.

I love the snappy, clean layout of this picture book. Swirling text works effectively against plenty of white space, giving readers the sensation of floating seamlessly along with the story.

The narrative itself is succinct and character driven, with enough repeating phraseology to prompt even the most modest beginner reader to join in the fun.

McKenzie’s soft smudges of pastel colour highlight significant aspects and emotions of the story: the girls’ cubby house and sand castle city, Toby’s cap and scooter, and of course, our little orange hero, Marmalade.A NFM illos

Acceptance, tolerance and making that leap of faith permeate appealingly through this dreamy picture book, resulting in a fine example of ‘less is more’. It certainly stacks up for me.

Uncover why sand-castle-city builders from the age of 4 years and up will treasure A New Friend for Marmalade, here.

Stick around with Alison and Marmalade for the rest of their tour and participate in the fantastic competitions listed below. You never know, you might just make few new friends along the way!

The Five Mile Press 2013

Alison Reynolds Blog Tour Dates

March 2014

11th Dee White – review and post http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/

11th Chris Bell – post http://christinemareebell.wordpress.com/

12th Angela Sunde – interview with Heath http://angelasunde.blogspot.com.au/

12th KBR – book giveaway http://www.kids-bookreview.com/

13th Boomerang Books – Post with Dimity Powell http://blog.boomerangbooks.com.au/author/dpowell

14th KBR Guest post http://www.kids-bookreview.com/

14th KBR Review http://www.kids-bookreview.com/

14th Sally Murphy – Meet my book http://aussiereviews.com/reviews/blog/

15th Buzz Words – Interview http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/

17th Ask the Bean Counter – Mr X http://www.alisonreynolds.com.au/

17th Pass-it-on Post and Review- Jackie Hosking http://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/school-magazine/

18th Ask the Publisher – Kay Scarlett http://www.alisonreynolds.com.au/

Pet contest for all ages!

Marmalade the cat is full of personality. Do you have a pet with personality? Win a piece of artwork by Heath McKenzie. Send along a photo of your personality-plus pet to www.alisonreynolds.com.au, alrey@msn.com.au or upload to https://www.facebook.com/alison.reynolds.524

Random book giveaways!

Just leave a comment on one of the posts in the blog tour, comment on Facebook or even email Alison that you want to enter competition to win A New Friend for Marmalade.

Jump the Slush Pile!

Win a free pass to a Children’s editor’s desk. Just comment on this blog post or any other blog during the A New Friend for Marmalade blog tour and add the initials CB. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win the draw.

Jump the Slush Pile!

Win a free pass to a Non-fiction commissioning editor’s desk. Just comment on this blog post or any other blog during the A New Friend for Marmalade blog tour and add the initials NF. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win the draw.

Win an assessment of Chapter One of a chapter book by the fabulous mentor extraordinaire Dee White. http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/ Just comment on this blog post or any other blog during the A New Friend for Marmalade blog tour and add the initials DW. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win the draw.

Win a free picture book assessment by Alison! Just comment on this blog post or any other blog during the A New Friend for Marmalade blog tour and add the initials PB. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win the draw.

 

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10. Ordinary moggies

Pink in the morningTime is a funny old thing.  It catches you out.  Memories come back whenever they please and sometimes they surprise you. They never go away, they only seem to.  Take yesterday.  I was at work, getting ready to go home, and suddenly, out of nowhere, I wasn’t there at all,  I was something like eight years old and the school bell was ringing and it was time to go home for tea. Alleycat says that time’s like a long dark corridor with a bright light up ahead.  If you look back you can see the past, the places you’ve already been, because the light is shining towards those things, but if you look ahead the light’s too bright and you can’t see anything because you’re blinded.  He’s full of wise sayings like that.  Sometimes he acts like an ordinary moggie, other times he acts like a sage.  Pink doesn’t act much at all, except like herself.  She’s very happy at the moment because spring has sprung, seemingly, and instead of basking under the reptile lamp on the kitchen table  she can start to wander at large from hot spot to hot spot in the house.


Pinkaboo2

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11. City Cat – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: City Cat Story by Kate Banks Art by Lauren Castillo Published by Foster Books, Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2013 Ages: 5-8 Themes: cat, travel, European cities 40 pages Opening Lines:  Wake up, City Cat. It’s dawn.                     … Continue reading

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12. Is That My Cat?

Is That My Cat
Author & Illustrator: Jonathan Allen
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Cats
ISBN: 978-1-907967-74-0
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95

Buy it at Amazon

Someone’s cat looks quite different these days. She’s suddenly so large she barely fits through the cat flap. She can no longer be picked up with one hand. And this fussy eater now gobbles up every last bite of food. Who is this fat cat, who is no longer a slim, sleek pussycat?

This cute black kitty has a surprise, and it’s a very happy one. Is That My Cat? is a darling book that will please all cat lovers.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


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13. The reptile

Pink's shadowIt’s ages since we posted (sorry) but we’ve had a bit of trouble with Pink. First off, she started pulling out her fur and we couldn’t stop it happening.  She was nearly bald in the end.  Then she stopped eating and we couldn’t make her start again. Alleycat and Bamber were worried, but there was nothing they could do and they expected us humans to put everything right.  Pink was so low she wouldn’t let us take her photo, but she agreed once that we could photograph her shadow (it’s up there at the top). Little by little she got better.  We brought her heaters, but that was no good, we purchased costly blankets, and she rejected them all, the fleeces, the silks, and even the mousseline. Then, one way or another, she gave us to understand that she required flowers, soft, scented flowers, so flowers were purchased, and after the flowers we had to supply her with golden saucers of full fat milk every other hour.  Pink yawnsLittle by little she started to improve, but her hair didn’t grow back until we sourced (at her explicit request) a reptile lamp, the sort of thing that snakes and other sorts of cold blooded critters love to bask beneath.  Once we’d provided her with all these things; the flowers, the full fat milk in endless supply and the reptile lamp she started to improve and now, I’m happy to report, she’s totally recovered.Sitting pretty


2 Comments on The reptile, last added: 3/2/2014
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14. Professor Pink

Professor PinkIf she could read, Pink would check out the tales of the Ginge Club and make sure she’s presented in the best possible light, as the most beautiful, alluring and fashionable pink cat who ever lived.  I’ve told her that’s exactly how she’s presented in the stories, and in the blog, but I don’t think she trusts me entirely.  That’s why she’s been staring at my Kindle, trying to see inside it.   She probably thinks it’s a mirror.  She knows what mirrors are because she spends hours every day staring into the one in our bedroom, preening herself and showing off to the looking glass.  Alleycat’s different.  He says he doesn’t care what anyone thinks so long as he can sleep whenever and wherever he wants and demand food at the drop of a hat.  Of course, he’s given me a few guidelines.  For one, thing. I’m never to give Snatcher too much attention or importance and for another I’ve got to impress everyone with Alleycat’s fine qualities.  Bamber alone of our three cats has little interest in such matters.  He doesn’t care about social media and his heart is set on being a cat and staying a cat and doing the best he can at being that.Mr Content


4 Comments on Professor Pink, last added: 5/25/2013
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15. The acme of indolence

Alleycat reclinesNot a lot of people know this, but Alleycat was living in Six Foot Way the day we all arrived.  He was in the house, looking after it, keeping it clear and keeping it clean and when we showed up out of the blue he allowed us in through the door and gave us permission to stay. It’s hard to say how old he is. Old certainly.  Years, decades.  He’s lived a long time because he’s lazy.  Sometimes you see him on the lawn, staring at a blade of grass, and then you realize he’s staring at the drop of dew that’s hanging on the end of it.  And then finally, you understand that he’s staring at something else entirely, something only he can see.  What I see is that he’s the laziest cat who ever lived. He’s the acme of indolence. Pink’s no better (is that a good thing?). Alleycat’s training her up to do nothing.  And doing nothing is the secret of living for ever where cats are concerned.Yawn!


4 Comments on The acme of indolence, last added: 5/27/2013
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16. Alleycat’s master plan

Pink and meIt’s business as usual in the Six Foot. Or is it? Pink’s retreated indoors, and the dogs are looking after her. Most of the time Alleycat’s glued to his gentleman’s chair in the garden, but Bamber’s decided he’s got to increase his patrols, and he’s also delved a lair for himself in the jasmine, overlooking the Six Foot itself. That’s his chosen spot.Little big catIndoors, the bears are reproducing. Don’t ask me why. They’re spreading over the furniture and generally taking over the house, whilst out in the world the black and white cats increase numerically, though sheer numbers aren’t the same as strength of arms and that’s why Alleycat isn’t worried and seldom moves from his easy chair. Bamber must be worried a bit though, or else he wouldn’t have built his look-out post above the garden gate, so he can watch for all-comers and cry to Alleycat if hostiles approach or seem to threaten. No one’s dared to encroach so far, and if they do Alleycat has plans. One thing I’ve noticed is that he’s getting fatter. Years ago he was poisoned and almost died (lots of local cats perished) but Alleycat survived. He lost a lot of weight back then, but his power and wisdom were so great that he lived through it all and learned to be even lazier (and wiser). Now he’s rebuilding his fat reserves in anticipation of a hard winter (or something like that) and being lazy is his secret weapon. So really, now that I think of it there’s quite a bit happening in the Six Foot after all.Alleycat looking down


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17. Do You Know a Cat Like That?

Do You Know a Cat Like That
Author: Art Garmissie
Illustrator: Carol Newsom
Publisher: FastPencil
Genre: Children / Cats
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

Buy it now

One day, a man rescues a kitten he names Moochee. In Do You Know a Cat Like That?, we see some of Moochee’s antics from her own perspective, after she moves into the household. Rolling around inside cardboard mail tubes, jumping from kitchen cabinets, and taking a bath, Moochee lets us know how she feels about her actions.

The illustrations of this adorable feline will make the reader smile, and her thoughts are comical and sweet. Moochee definitely has her own personality, as do most cats! This cute book would be a great addition to any cat lover’s library.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


0 Comments on Do You Know a Cat Like That? as of 10/9/2013 4:30:00 PM
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18. Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea

Anton and Cecil Cats at Sea
Author: Lisa Martin & Valerie Martin
Illustrator: Kelly Murphy
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Genre: Middle-grade / Cats
ISBN: 978-161620-246-0
Pages: 256
Price: $16.99

Valerie Martin’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Anton and Cecil are two cat brothers living near the docks in Nova Scotia. Cecil loves to visit the sailors on the ships, while Anton prefers remaining on shore. Cats are often captured and forced aboard the ships to rid them of rats, and Anton suddenly finds himself out at sea. Cecil, intent on rescuing his brother, boards the next ship out. But the sea is a wide-open place, and he has no idea how to find Anton.

Dolphins, whales, and a mouse, as well as another seafaring cat, all become companions of these two cats at sea. Is there also a kind and powerful force looking out for them all, and will they finally be reunited? Storms, pirates, rats, and menacing birds all threaten their safety, but legend has it that cats at sea are protected by a mysterious eye.

Unfortunately, this legend is presented in obscure quotations and eye sightings, and not fully explained. The disappearance of a ship’s entire crew is also not explained, and in researching, I discovered this had actually happened on the Mary Celeste, a real ship found abandoned near Gibraltar in 1872. A small reference to this might have made the incident feel more plausible.

Cats at Sea is full of adventure, as Anton and Cecil learn to live on the sea. Overall, it’s a fun read with a happy ending. Kids will enjoy the way these three cats and an unusual mouse relate to each other, and the strong friendships that develop.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


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19. The gipsy

George and the bearsYesterday evening there was a knock on the front door.  No one knocks on our front door, they always come in via the kitchen, so that was strange right away.  I never receive unexpected callers either and everyone knows it, so I was more than surprised when the knocking continued and didn’t stop, and I was more than annoyed when the dogs didn’t bark at all.  I hate to think of my dogs being cowed, so I ran to investigate and flung the door wide open. There on the other side of the threshold was an old, thin-looking woman with a gipsy ring on her outstretched hand and a hooky nose on her narrow face.  Yet she wasn’t thin exactly, more wiry than anything, and she had big bones, and steely muscles, and if I thought she was thin I didn’t think she looked puny. Far from it. This was a formidable woman, you understand.  Here! she said, and I stood my ground and said nothing because I was amazed and disconcerted. Here, she repeated. Here, you!  Do you want your fortune reading! Now, for all that I would love to have my fortune read, I am afraid to see into the future, so I held out my hand in front of me and opened the palm in her face to show her what I thought of her question.  The grim old woman didn’t speak again, but she stared through me and fixed her gaze on something behind me.  She crooked a finger and beckoned it to come and when I turned I saw bears, dozens of bears, crawling along the tiled floor of the hall towards me (or rather towards her).  Alleycat!  I cried. Alleycat, where are you!


1 Comments on The gipsy, last added: 11/11/2013
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20. The great dictator

Looking down her noseIt’s been a while since I blogged, but I’ve been hard at work on a story that Pink told me while I was sleeping.  She crept up close while I was dozing in the armchair and whispered in my ear and said I’d better get on and write up some of her better adventures, not the latest ones, but the ones she had when she was younger.  Pink isn’t altogether stupid.  Mostly she just pretends to be silly because it means she can avoid difficult and lengthy tasks by claiming they’re beyond her.  But she’s clever really and she knows stuff.  She was quite right about the story.  I’d been letting things slide and it was high time I got to work.  Here’s a link to what she dictated.  While I was writing it Pink perched somewhat cheekily on the back of my office chair and watched what I was typing, in case I got anything wrong, and if there was anything she didn’t approve of she chirruped a warning and told me to blot.Pink makes a friend


2 Comments on The great dictator, last added: 12/19/2013
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21. The spirit of the lamp

It's nice and hot here The sun lampPink’s playing up. She’s wants to dictate more of her adventures, but I haven’t had time to write them down and she feels I’m slacking.  That’s rich coming from her, the laziest cat in the Five Streets. Anyway, she’s ordered me to stick in and press on regardless of other commitments.  I’ve told her it’s Christmas and I might have to break off and drink some mulled wine or eat some strong cheese, but she’s impatient with that sort of thing and simply won’t tolerate it. This morning when I got up she was waiting for me on the kitchen table with her head in the angle-poise lamp.  She thinks that if she sits there she’ll have a bright idea.  It’s as if the lamp’s lighting up her brain as well as lighting my table, and Pink’s such a strong-minded little cat that she can probably make the light do anything she wants, including inspire her, just as she can require me to write when I ought to be eating Christmas cake. Maybe she’s right, because while she was boiling her brains and egging me on to listen to her, I managed to get another chapter done in draft  and here it is.It's nice and hot here


2 Comments on The spirit of the lamp, last added: 12/22/2013
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22. Lazy Hero Cat of Egypt

Lazy Hero Cat of Egypt
Author: Stanford Crow
Illustrator: Nancy S. Hemmingson
Publisher: Bliss Group Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-9885359-1-6
Pages: 24
Price: $7.50

Buy it at Amazon

Bubastis the cat is very lazy. He sleeps all day on top of the sarcophagus of Queen Nefertari, too lazy to look, listen or smell anything. So he doesn’t move at all when two tomb robbers break in to steal from the sarcophagus.

But being lazy is just the right way to handle these thieves. In a comedy of errors, Bubastis manages to knock them both out, just by doing nothing. And the next day, he is hailed as a hero when the men are discovered in the tomb.

Lazy Hero Cat of Egypt is a humorous tale that’s pure fun for kids to read. I highly recommend this delightful story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


0 Comments on Lazy Hero Cat of Egypt as of 1/8/2014 12:24:00 PM
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23. Book Review: Shadows



 Shadows

by Robin McKinley

It's not just that Maggie misses her father, or understandably resents her new stepfather, Val. No, it goes beyond that: Val has too many shadows. Whenever Maggie looks at him, she sees him surrounded by wiggly shadow shapes with too many appendages. It can't be magic, because there is no magic in Newworld. Anyone with the potential for magic must have a procedure to snip the gene before they reach puberty, and even though Val is an immigrant, he wouldn't have been allowed in if he had any magic.

Maggie tries not to think about it, and avoids Val as much as possible by throwing herself into her work at the local shelter, which isn't hard, since Maggie loves animals anyway. Then a cobey — a "coherence break" in the universe — opens nearby, and with one revelation after another, Maggie begins to discover that the world — and Newworld specifically — is full of surprises, among them that Val is not such a bad guy. When the situation goes from bad to worse, Maggie and her friends set out to set things right, accompanied by five very large dogs, a cantankerous Maine Coone cat, a friendly shadow named Hix, and one stubborn algebra book.

Shadows is a fun book with loads of teen appeal. Maggie's voice as the narrator is authentic and entertaining, if a bit rambly in parts, and there's gentle humor woven throughout the book. The pacing is excellent, perfectly balancing character development, excitement, humor, and reveals. All of the characters are interesting and well-developed, including animals, shadows, and semi-animate objects. Even the dogs each have distinctive personalities. Although Maggie finds she has some unusual abilities, she can't do it alone - it takes the combined efforts and abilities of everyone to succeed. There is romance, but it's not overdone and I like the direction that McKinley went with the it.

There are dystopian elements, such as soldiers in the streets with scanners, roadblocks, and forced genetic manipulation, but I wouldn't call this a dystopian book. The focus is not on fighting against a dystopian government, although there is certainly some of that. Instead, it's more about finding yourself and discovering that the world is a different place than you thought.

Shadows is a 2013 Cybils Awards Finalist in the YA Speculative Fiction category.

Who would like this book:

Readers of both traditional fantasy and dystopian stories will enjoy this, as it has elements of both. Dog lovers, cat lovers, and origami artists will also find a lot to appreciate.

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FTC required disclosure: Reviewed from library copy. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.


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24. Lazy Hero Cat and the Pirates

Lazy Hero Cat and the Pirates
Author: Stanford Crow
Illustrator: Nancy S. Hemmingson
Publisher: Bliss Group Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-940021-06-5
Pages: 26
Price: $7.50

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Bubastis “Bub” the cat is back (Lazy Hero Cat of Egypt) and this time he’s sunning himself on the bank of the Nile, enjoying a cozy catnap. When the river floods, he’s too lazy to notice he’s floating away. Pirates net his cat bed and bring him on board their ship to catch rats.

Bub just continues to snooze, so the pirates get angry and make him walk the plank. But Bub has no intention of doing anything but sleep. Luckily for the pirates, his laziness will pay off in ways they never expected.

Lazy Hero Cat and the Pirates is a delightfully humorous read. Kids will really enjoy this fun series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


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25. The Great Cat Caper (S.A.V.E. Squad: Book 2)

The Great Cat Caper
Authors: Lauraine Snelling & Kathleen Damp Wright
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Genre: Children / Cats
ISBN: 978-1-61626-566-3
Pages: 160
Price: $5.99

Author’s website
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Vee is beginning sixth grade in the Accelerated Learning Center. Always driven to excel, she anticipates a great year ahead of her. But a problem with her math score may send her back to regular sixth grade, much to her dismay.

After asking her dad to set up math tutoring for her retest, she tackles an assigned community service project along with her S.A.V.E. Squad friends. This time they will be arranging the Great Cat Caper at the senior center, in an attempt to find homes for the cats at Paws ‘N’ Claws rescue. The project takes on new significance when the TV show Everything Animal decides to film their efforts. But who is “mouthwash lady,” and is she trying to sabotage everything?

In this sequel to Dog Daze, we meet Vee, the second member of the squad. Vee is troubled over her parents’ divorce and remarriages, and trying to get used to her new family dynamics. Finding treasure in God, she finally realizes she has the “spot” she’s been looking for.  The Great Cat Caper is an enjoyable faith-filled read.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


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