Friday, 11 November 2011

I thought I saw a pussy cat

Herewith, in no particular order, are my furry top ten!

The necessary cat by Nicola Bayley 

Did you know that the Savoy Hotel in London employs Kaspar, a wooden cat in dinner dress, to be the fourteenth guest for parties of thirteen – thus avoiding bad luck? Or that the Chinese Desert Cat has very hairy paws to protect them from the hot sand? Discover these feline facts and much more in Nicola Bayley's The Necessary Cat, a tribute to cats and kittens of all varieties. Exquisitely illustrated in colour - this one really is the cat’s whiskers.



Tiger by Nick Butterworth


Tiger isn’t a real Tiger but he is very good at jumping, roaring and pretending! Nick Butterworth’s illustrations are delightful. Dare I say this one is the cat’s meow?





A camping holiday by Kathleen Hale


This is the first book in the series introducing Orlando, his wife Grace and their kittens, Blanche, Pansy and Tinkle. In this story the family go on a camping trip and the kittens learn to swim, paint pictures and sleep under the stars.  Orlando the splendidly striped marmalade cat with eyes as green as gooseberrie is possibly one of the most widely recognised feline characters and also one of my favourites.






The Christmas day kitten by James Herriot


Debbie the little stray cat can often be found warming herself in front of Mrs Pickering’s fire but she is very shy and only stays for a short while. Then one snowy Christmas morning she arrives carrying a new-born kitten... A lovely Christmas story with very pretty illustrations.






The church cat abroad by Graham Oakley

The story of the Church Mice begins in the Anglican Church of Saint John, where Sampson the cat and Arthur the mouse live a quiet and happy life. Sampson has listened to so many sermons about the meek being blessed that he has grown quite docile and treats Arthur just like his brother. In this story Sampson and Arthur decide to become film stars to help pay for repairs to the vestry roof. This leads to them becoming stranded on a South-Sea island from which they can only escape by masquerading as exotic animals.


Toffee's night noises by Sally Chambers



It's bedtime.Windows are closed, curtains drawn, teeth are brushed and lights turned off. All is quiet. Or is it? Toffee slips outside and finds the garden full of sounds. Moths humming, mice scratching, traffic rumbling and the town clock chiming but then Toffee hears a strange sound… 




Cat up a tree by Anne Isaacs

A collection of poems about cats with illustrations by Stephen Mackey. My particular favourite is – the fireman’s lament which begins “You can’t catch a cat with a ladder or rope, a dishful of fish or a hatful of hope. Forget the net: it will all come to naught unless the cat should decide to be caught. Take it from me: I've put in my share of bone-numbing hours thirty feet in the air, dreaming of home and a hot mug of tea while casting for shadows on top of a tree…”



A shop full of kittens by Ian Penney


In this hide-and-seek story, Mrs Tabby and her nine kittens live in the basement of a department store. The kittens love to hide among the clocks, carpets, china, foods and all the other wonderful things and Mrs Tabby has to go from one department to another to try to find them all before the store opens.





Cat in the Manger by Michael Foreman

A long time ago, in a faraway land, a cat lived in a barn. He had to share it with the other animals: cows and goats, chickens and mice! But that was all right; he was good at catching mice. Then, one wintry night, the door flew open and in came a man and a woman, to take shelter from the snow. Michael Foreman captures the wonder of the Nativity through the eyes of a little cat.




The Cat in the hat comes back by Dr. Seuss



Another of my all time favourites and one I couldn’t possibly leave out… the one and only cat in the hat. "So you see!" laughed the cat, "now the snow is all white, now your work is all done; now your house is all right! And you know where my little cats are?" said the cat. "That Voom blew my little cats back in my hat". 




Update August 2015 all the books featured here are now sold, thanks for looking.

Do you have a favourite cat book or one you think deserves a mention? I would love to know so please leave a comment. 


7 comments:

  1. I am a huge cat lover! Love these recommendations, Barbara. Graham Oakley's and Michael Foreman's especially. I have read "Sneakers, the Seaside Cat" by Margaret Wise Brown, which is beautifully illustrated, too. And there's "Grandma’s Cat" by Helen Ketteman & Marsha Lynn Winborn.

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  2. I'm so glad you included 'The Cat in the Hat'. When I started paging down I wasn't sure if you would have chosen it. I know it has probably become a bit of a cliché now but I think the Dr Seuss books include some of the most brilliant and inventive verse ever written for children.

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  3. barbaraannefisher12 November 2011 at 17:07

    Hello Claudine
    I love cats (and dogs) too so I am always pleased to find new picture books that feature them. I don't know Grandma's cat by Helen Ketteman but I've just had a look at the cover art online and it certainly looks like one I would like.

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  4. barbaraannefisher12 November 2011 at 17:13

    I’ve always loved anything by Dr Seuss so it was impossible to compile a list of my top ten cat books and not include the cat in the hat. The hardest part was restricting myself to just ten as there are many more I would like to include. Felix the cat and Puss in Boots are two that spring to mind.

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  5. Look at all these cat books. The first one sounds fascinating. I love 'Tiger' book, and who doesn't love James Herriot books. I used to read my son 'The Cat in the Hat' over and over. What a cute kitty blog.

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  6. I loved The Church Cat as a child- the detailed pictures entranced me. Judith Kerr's Mog is another long-time favourite, and as an older child, Gobbolino The Witch's Cat by Ursula Moray Williams.

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  7. barbaraannefisher21 November 2011 at 08:56

    I find the illustrations from the Church cat completely absorbing; if you really look at them you find so many unexpected things. One of my most treasured possessions is an original illustration from one of the books – Terry gave it me as a surprise Christmas present one year and I love it.
    I had forgotten all about Gobbolino the Witch’s cat! I think I’ve got a battered copy of the Further Adventures of Gobbolino & the Little Wooden Horse somewhere – I must look it out and re-read it.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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