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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Captain Cat by Joan Joass, Illustrated by Bob Darroch

On the cover of this delightful new picture book two wide eyed moggies are at sea in a dinghy. It’s Dad’s fault. In a hurry to get home after a day’s fishing he didn’t tie his boat up properly. When the Jones’s family pets, Scout and Fluff, spotted the bait which he had carelessly left behind they jumped in one after the other to have a little feast. It caused the rope to untangle, and the little boat is now floating out to sea with Scout at the helm. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

Nearby some of the local grown-ups are too busy socialising and having afternoon tea on the deck to notice the two cats. It is a twelve-year-old who was playing cricket on the beach who noticed them.

‘Hey, look,’ he cried. ‘just look at that! The skipper is……… a ginger cat! A cat for a captain? That’s not right! And not a human being in sight….'

While the adults lose precious time wondering which emergency service to call, this tech-savvy boy knows exactly what to do. He sneaks a cell phone from an adult’s back pocket and quickly posts a message on the Internet.

‘Do you know whose cats are these? Get in touch and HURRY please!'

Mum sees it, tells Dad, and a rescue plan is hatched. But will they be able to reach them in time?

Captain Cat was based on a real-life event in author Joan Joass’s family. And as in her first picture book The Long Drop it is Dad who gets it wrong.

It is tale our family could relate to. When my granddaughters’ beloved cat got lost, messages in letterboxes were of no avail but a message on our Neighbourly website quickly helped to locate her.

This rhyming story is a great fun to read out to pre-schoolers. There is plenty drama to hold their interest and keep them guessing as to what might happen next.

And Bob Darroch’s humorous brightly coloured illustrations bring the story to life. He has created a whole bunch of casually dressed kiwi characters and two adorable mischievous moggies. I think it will appeal especially to those who have pets of their own.

Reviewer: Lyn Potter

Oratia Press. RRP $19.99


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