THE CATLADY by Dick King-Smith


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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To the few cat stories in King-Smith’s stable, this latest poses a new dimension and meaning to the term “nine lives.” Almost every community has one—the elderly spinster with a household overrun with cats. Whenever a new litter is born, Miss Ponsonby stares into their eyes to figure out if the cat is a cat or a reincarnation of a person. She believes that her parents, friends and cousins have all reappeared in feline form. To her surprise and delight, when she peers into the eyes of a ginger female born on January 22, 1901, she gasps: The cat is the queen—Queen Victoria. The rest is pure melodrama: Mary Nutt, orphan, becomes the Catlady’s aide; Miss P. becomes bedridden and dies, leaving her house to the Royal Society for the Protection of Cats, with living privileges for Mary. Naturally, she returns as a cat. Black-and-white line sketches litter the pages but disappoint due to the appealing color cover. King-Smith fans won’t find this a cuddly animal tale: The cats don’t speak human language and the dependence of the story on the belief of reincarnation may provoke questions that adults are uncomfortable answering. (Fiction 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 2006
ISBN: 0-375-82985-7
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2005


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