THE IMPROBABLE CAT by Allan Ahlberg

THE IMPROBABLE CAT

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Do not be deceived by the diminutive trim size and aloofly posed but pettable-looking feline on the cover: there’s nothing warm or fuzzy about this eerie tale of a family enslaved by an adopted stray. The kitten that slips into the yard one day seems to hypnotize everyone in the Burrell family except baby Luke, the dog Billy—and narrator David, 12, who watches with increasing alarm as his parents and little sister lose track of their jobs, friends, and lives to feed and care for it. Feeding ravenously, it doubles in size each week, becoming in the process less catlike, and more—something else. As the creature stays out of sight, David is unable to convince anyone that something’s amiss—cats are often pampered, right? At last, with the aid of a friend, he concocts a desperate, chancy plan to drive it away. With tiny, somber vignettes enhancing the spooky atmosphere, this episode makes decidedly unsafe bedtime reading—but, like Robert Westall’s Stones of Muncaster Cathedral (1993), it offers in a small package both big, delicious chills, and, for sharper readers, a cautionary metaphor to chew over. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-73186-8
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2004




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