"A swashbuckling story of two very different cat brothers and their adventures at sea.
Cecil and Anton are as different as port and starboard. Cecil, stocky and black with white patches, thirsts for seafaring adventure as he roams the docks of his harborside home, taking day trips on fishing boats. Slim, gray Anton prefers listening to the sailors’ shanties at the town saloon. But one day when Anton goes to port, he’s taken to be a ratter on a ship bound for the high seas. Knowing little of the wide open ocean that lies beyond the harbor, Cecil boards another ship in hopes of finding Anton. But what begins as a rescue mission turns into a pair of high-seas adventures. Anton takes on a fierce rat, outwits hungry birds, and forges a forbidden friendship, while Cecil meets dolphins and whales and finds himself in a pirate raid. On an ocean as vast as the one Anton and Cecil have discovered, will they ever see home—or each other—again? Valerie Martin and Lisa Martin present a colorful cast of characters, rich historical detail, and lyrical storytelling that will delight fans of such classic animal adventures as The Wind in the Willows, Stuart Little, and Poppy."
I haven't read that many books with cats, despite of being a cat lover, but sometimes you come across a book that has almost everything you could possibly want in a cat story. This was that book. It was a magical read, filled with good ol' fashioned sea travel, pirates, friendships and adventure. As I often find, Middle Grade books are for all ages when they're written well and are magical, and this one is a great example of that. The art by Kelly Murphy compliments the story beautifully, too.
“Don't be a chicken, be a cat!" said Cecil. "Be adventurous".
I adored the friendships in this book. First of all there are the cat brothers Cecil and Anton who are very different yet close. They each form friendships on the ships they're on. Cecil befriends another cat Gretchen, and Anton befriends a human as well as a mouse. (Though, throughout the book we will find that all the cats in the story don't like rats.)
The relations between the cats and the humans were beautifully done and realistic. The cats acted like cats in the best possible way, and the historical setting with its supernatural elements all worked well - I loved the cat legend aspect of the story.
This book was all kinds of wonderful! I was taken aback by how much I came to love this book. I highly recommend this feel good adventure story!
It is available here.
Length: circa 254 pages.
Released: October 8th, 2013.
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction.
Age Group: Middle Grade, All Ages.
Published by: Algonquin Books for Young Readers.