Clever Cats

 

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Gracie was highly amused by Macavity’s antics.

Macavity The Mystery Cat
T.S.Eliot and Arthur Robbins
Faber & Faber pbk
Macavity has taken on a new incarnation courtesy of Arthur Robins in this 75th Anniversary Edition of one of the inhabitants of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and a truly splendid tribute it is too.

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Robins’ wibbly wobbly outlines work wonderfully for this purpose of celebratory depiction of the activities of that levitating, gravity defying, feline fiend who has Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad and the Admiralty flummoxed.

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A rip-roaring read of the first order and herein we are introduced to a bumbling bloodhound police detective who has taken charge of the task of investigating the moggie’s misdoing, but of course, after each dastardly act ‘Macavity’s not there!’ All we, but seemingly not the inept, flashlight- and binocular-waving investigator, catch sight of is a tail,

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a paw, or perhaps an ear, at the scene of a crime.
Wonderful to share with youngsters, friends, cat lovers, poetry lovers, word lovers, pretty much anyone in fact. And if any of those and I’m sure they will, enjoy the adventures of the scraggy, ginger tom, that Napoleon of Crime, then direct them straightway to the further feline frolics found in Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in its entirety.
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William & the Missing Masterpiece
Helen Hancocks
Templar Publishing pbk
The ’William’ of the title is an international cat of mystery who has to postpone his holiday to rush to the assistance of Parisian art gallery owner, Monsieur Gruyere. Mr Gruyere is in a stew because his gallery has planned an exhibition for National Cheese Week and the Mona Cheesa masterpiece has been stolen.

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There are no suspects, William is told on arrival. His close search reveals – take note – two items of significance: a strand of red wool and a little hole in the skirting board.
A visit to two close friends proves fruitless and William accepts an invitation to their  competition opening. In the meantime, while having a bite of lunch he espies a decidedly overdressed character passing by carrying a large, flat shaped parcel and heading for a fancy dress shop.

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When the same character leaves with another parcel our special investigator follows him for a while but then loses the trail and instead heads to the competition venue. Therein, he learns of a splendid last-minute entry by an unknown.
William inspects it closely, visualizes the day’s events thus far, ponders on the cheesy nature of the prize

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and just as the winner is about to be announced, he dashes in and unmasks, not only the painting but also the so-called artist …
A feline frolic of the first order is Helen Hancocks’ latest offering. It’s packed with deliciously cheesy wordplay, ‘ THE ROBBERS HAD THOUGHT THEIR MISSION TO STEAL THE MONA CHEESE A ‘FETA-COMPLI’ AS THEY WERE HANDED FIRST PRIZE AT THE ANNUAL HOMAGE TO FROMAGE COMPETITION. …
TO SEE THE THIEVES GO UNPUNISHED REALLY GRATES,” SAID MONSIEUR GRUYERE,
’ visual art references, droll pictorial details with the Parisian spirit very much in evidence.

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My Name is Bob
James Bowen, Garry Jenkins and Gerald Kelley
Red Fox pbk.
Forced by a chain of circumstances, into becoming a street cat following the death of his kind old lady owner, the feline narrator is cold, friendless and mistreated but then, attracted by beautiful music being played, he comes upon a man playing a guitar.

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Having followed the man home and then got himself injured, our narrator is taken in by the kind guitarist, James who feeds him and gives him a new name, Bob. Once his leg was better, Bob accompanied James everywhere and they became a busking duo and so they are today: inseparable.
This heartwarming tale told in a matter of fact manner without a hint of sentimentality, will appeal to cat lovers young and not so young, in particular to those who enjoy a true story with a happy ending.
Don’t forget to read the pawprint information about the chief protagonist on the back cover too.
Kelley’s true to life paintings add to the reality of whole book, which is actually billed as a picture book prequel to the worldwide bestseller ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’.
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Find and buy from your local bookshop:http://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

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