Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763641641, 40pp.
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
A lonely cat, a rainy night, and an empty dinghy launch a heartwarming, seafaring tale about finding home in unlikely places.
The scrawny cat used to belong to someone, someone who scratched his ears and let him lick her chin and knew his name. Now the only thing anyone ever calls him is "get out of here!" But when a snarling dog and a blowing rain turn the scrawny cat into a sailor cat, he learns that even a scared and shivery stray can find a kindred soul at the end of a storm-tossed night. Phyllis Root's lyrical narrative joins with charming illustrations by Alison Friend in a classic, comforting tale about a lost creature that cat lovers (and story hounds) will cozy up to.
Alison Friend was on vacation one year, making jams and chutneys with her husband, when they discovered a recipe for "Figgy Mustardo." The chutney was good, but Alison thought the name was better suited for a feisty little dog. That's how Figgy came to be! Alison is also the author and illustrator of Freddy & Frito and the Clubhouse Rules, which Kirkus Reviews called "a playful, lighthearted lesson about peacekeeping and place-keeping." She lives with her family in the Lake District in England.
The events here are classic, the narrative is simplicity itself...Altogether, this is a satisfyingly fresh rendition of the old scenario of a wanderer landing safely in a loving home.
—The Horn Book
While animal-loving kids especially will sigh with satisfaction as the cat finally finds a kind-hearted caretaker, this plotline will likely resonate with any youngster who yearns for belonging... the little cat is a charming waif, from his bony frame to his huge, expressive golden eyes, and his skittish uncertainty is as effectively depicted as his eventual paw-kneading contentment.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books