Kaspar: Prince of CatsPaperback
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- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Format: Paperback | 224 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 18mm | 159g
- Publication date: 7 January 2010
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0007267002
- ISBN 13: 9780007267002
- Illustrations note: col. Illustrations
- Sales rank: 6,895
A heart-warming, colour-illustrated novel about Kaspar the Savoy cat, from the award-winning author of Born to Run and The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips Kaspar the cat first came to the Savoy Hotel in a basket - Johnny Trott knows, because he was the one who carried him in. Johnny was a bell-boy, you see, and he carried all of Countess Kandinsky's things to her room. But Johnny didn't expect to end up with Kaspar on his hands forever, and nor did he count on making friends with Lizziebeth, a spirited American heiress. Pretty soon, events are set in motion that will take Johnny - and Kaspar - all around the world, surviving theft, shipwreck and rooftop rescues along the way. Because everything changes with a cat like Kaspar around. After all, he's Prince Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats, a Muscovite, a Londoner and a New Yorker, and as far as anyone knows, the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic...
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Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children. He has written over 100 books and won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Whitbread Award. His recent bestselling novels include 'Shadow', 'A Medal for Leroy' and 'Little Manfred'. His novel 'War Horse' has been successfully adapted as a West End and Broadway theatre play and a major film by Steven Spielberg. A former Children's Laureate, Michael is also the co-founder, with his wife Clare, of the charity Farms for City Children.
By Nicola Mansfield 29 Oct 2011
Reason for Reading: I've read and enjoyed the author before plus I am a Titanic fan.
This is an entirely fictional story about three things, two of them rooted in actual fact. First and foremost it is the story of fourteen year old Johnny Trott, orphan, currently working as bell boy at the Savoy Hotel, secondly it is a story of how the famous sculpture of the Savoy Hotel cat may have come to be and thirdly, it is an account of the sinking of the Titanic.
An important guest at the hotel befriends Johnny and instructs him to watch over her cat, Kaspar, while she is away from her rooms. Misfortune befalls her and Johnny keeps the cat as his own. Then another family comes to stay and he befriends the impish daughter of a wealthy couple. Here we deal with different types of friendship and love that Johnny has never experienced in his life before and this is the basic theme of the book. To add some adventure, the family is fated to sail home to New York on the "unsinkable" ship, the Titanic. Both Johnny and Kaspar end up on board but I won't tell you how or why but this eventually leads to the sculpture of the Kaspar cat being presented to the Savoy.
A fun story that will appeal to both boys and girls. It is an easy-going book with the first half dedicated to Johnny and his relationships, much more character driven than anything else. I enjoyed this half the best. The second half picks up the pace and adds escapades and finally an account of the Titanic's sinking that is quite realistic. The author ends with a Post Script telling the reader how, as a writer, he pulled the real elements from life and created his fictional story from them.
Final word on the illustrations, Michael Foreman is a prolific illustrator and one of the best England has to offer. This book is no exception; it is profusely illustrated, in colour, and it was a delight to read a chapter book in colour for a change.