A shy newspaper reporter gets a helping paw from local felines through a mysterious and “cattish” young lady.
Moments after nearly losing his job for writing too many stories about cats, Tibble rescues a young woman from a tree that she’s climbed to escape a barking dog. He takes her back to his attic apartment, and, because of her catlike ways and appearance, he finds he almost believes her when she says she used to be a cat. Minou talks to the neighborhood cats (some of whom can’t believe she’s considering staying human) and begins passing non–cat-centered, newsworthy stories on to Tibble to write about. His star rises at the paper, but when a news story reflects badly on a ruthless local businessman, it causes problems for everyone. Dutch children’s-literature legend Schmidt’s 1970 classic received a workmanlike translation in the early ’90s. Colmer, who has translated much of Schmidt’s work, brings this tale of transformation, intrigue, and interspecies friendship to new life with a creative, considered, and playful new translation. The story is worth reading just for the fun of watching Minou try to suppress her cat urges to rub up against the fishmonger, chase birds, and claw a woman in a cat-fur coat.
A charming, refreshing, and funny treat. (Fantasy. 8-12)