Captain Cat

by Inga Moore (Author) Inga Moore (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

A trader who loves cats discovers an island plagued by rats in Inga Moore's lavishly illustrated tale about the value of treasure and the nature of home.

Captain Cat loves cats. In fact, he has more cats on his ship than he has sailors. On one voyage, he discovers a remote and lonely island where the little-girl Queen has never even seen a cat. When Captain Cat's furry companions trounce the rats infesting the island, the Queen begs Captain Cat to trade her the cats for untold treasure. Does he? Could he? What happens next? Never fear, fellow travelers! The purr-fect solution is on the horizon -- and is sure to satisfy both pet-lovers and adventurers.


Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Captain Cat, a fez-wearing, white-bearded old salt whose nickname derives from his love of felines--"There were more cats on board his ship... than there were sailors in his crew"--sets off to find his heart's desire and discovers a remote island covered with swaying palms and Alhambra-like architecture. Its only problem? Rats. The island is ruled by the Queen, a frizzy-headed, supremely self-confident child; when she finds out what effective rat-killers cats are (she's never seen one before), she offers Captain Cat all her treasure in exchange for them. Lest readers think Captain Cat a heartless cad for accepting, Moore (A House in the Forest) assures them "it was the cats themselves who had the final say.... they refused to go back on board." Sun-bleached, finely crosshatched seascapes of wooden ships and rolling breakers alternate with endearing portraits of the kindly Captain Cat, the sassy queen, and the furry rat-dispatchers. A direct descendant of British-style exploits from Nesbit to Dahl--and with plenty of room to unfold leisurely, as befits a voyage of exploration--this is an adventure readers will savor. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)

Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--Captain Cat has spent years accumulating felines, making him a laughingstock among the other seafaring traders. One day, he and his cats set sail on an adventure and end up on an uncharted island. The young queen happily welcomes her visitors, but at their first meal, the dinner table is overrun with rats. Luckily, the cats save the day-although it results in the jarring image of rows of dead rats as the queen looks over "the neat rows of corpses lined up on the Royal Palace floor." The thankful ruler rewards the trader, who returns home without his cats, who prefer solid ground over the ship. Once the other traders see Captain Cat's treasure, they rush to the island with gifts for the queen, who gives them her most precious possessions: kittens. The disappointed traders give them to Captain Cat, who is inspired to sail back to the island to be with his cats. The illustrations are intricate, with many faces and details to examine, and the realistic, Mediterranean-looking backgrounds create a beautiful setting for the story. The characters, whether human or feline, have distinct expressions and looks, with a few animals peering out, connecting with readers. The story is not as well defined; it has a slightly rambling plot that slowly drifts to a close, but will still appeal to cat lovers and young readers who enjoy an adventure story.--Marian McLeod, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT

Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Moore's detailed crosshatched pictures — in a style familiar from her illustrations for "The Wind in the Willows" and "The Secret Garden" — add charm to this warmhearted story.
—The New York Times Book Review

[T]his is an adventure readers will savor.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

This quirky tale has something for everyone... Moore's tale combines traditional themes and spritely illustrations to create a satisfying, offbeat adventure.
—Kirkus Reviews

The illustrations are intricate, with many faces and details to examine, and the realistic, Mediterranean-looking backgrounds create a beautiful setting for the story. The characters, whether human or feline, have distinct expressions and looks, with a few animals peering out, connecting with readers.
—School Library Journal

The story is well told, and the pictures add their own brand of charm... This pleasing picture book features an idyllic, original adventure story, told with wit and illustrated with grace.
—Booklist

Moore excels at visually creating idyllic worlds, and this title is no exception. ... The story finds its inspiration in an old Italian tale (according to flap copy), and its folkloric style and the pleasantly conversational tone make the book an easy readaloud. This would be a cozy classroom readaloud selection or a comfy bedtime story; having a couple of kitties on hand would, of course, enrich the experience.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Moore has created a new classic! This story has everything—a captain, a queen, the high seas, unknown territory, murder, mystery, romance, treasure and CATS! Moore's trademark illustrations pull you in and make you want to read it again and again.
—Isabel Berg, Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H.

There's more to this curious tale, which delights in its unexpected twists. Just when you suspect one thing will happen, Moore surprises you with another, even throwing in a bit of chummy commentary, spoken directly to the reader. ... Moore's sprawling mixed media spreads create a vivid, detailed world, and the quirky story charms. Dare I say: It's the cat's pajamas.
—BookPage Online

[A] perfectly wonderful adventure tale... Big, luscious spreads of high-energy watercolor illustrations are packed with eye-pleasing details (and comedic cats, of course).
—The Sunday Plain Dealer

A wonderfully illustrated journey for readers.
—San Antonio Express-News

Inga Moore
Inga Moore is a renowned author and illustrator of children's books. She is the author-illustrator of A House in the Woods and has illustrated highly acclaimed versions of The Secret Garden and The Wind in the Willows. Inga Moore lives in England.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780763661519
Lexile Measure
870L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
October 20, 2013
Series
-

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