Monday, 11 August 2014

The Cat Who Came In Off The Roof - Annie M G Schmidt

For 9 to 99 year olds.  Really?  Well, yes........  It's a Dutch children's classic, translated into English this year and published by Pushkin Children's Books.  I wonder why no-one found this treasure earlier?! 

Tibble is a young, shy, newspaper reporter who writes really well, but mostly about cats, and never about current news.  When he meets Miss Minou, a rather "cattish" young lady, he finds that she is his source of all sorts of little news stories that the editor of his newspaper is happy to publish.  But there is a mystery here.  Minou is cattish, because once upon a time she really was a cat.

The appeal of this book is that it does not talk down to children, which makes it suitable for any age at all, and for anyone who loves a well told tale, particularly those who love tales about cats, this is a delight.  The author Annie Schmidt was obviously a great observer - there is a villain here, people lose their jobs, some people are kinder than others, some people hate cats; and the cats..... well, if you have a cat, if you ever had a cat, if you admire cats, then you will find that every nuance of cat behaviour is here!  Lovely to read aloud to a child, which means an adult can enjoy it at the same time; great and easy read for children want to read on their own, and great for anyone of any age who admires cats.

Well done Pushkin for getting this lovely book translated and published - Oh, and a great cover, too!