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Month in review

Reviews
At Home with Books by Estelle Ellis and Caroline Seebohm
The Batman Handbook by Scott Beatty
Class Trip by Rand B. Lee
Cook-a-doodle-doo by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel
The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington
Echoes from the Macabre by Daphne du Maurier
Epidapheles and the Insufficiently Affectionate Ocelot by Ramsey Shehadeh
The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King
The Gypsy's Boy by Lokiko Hall
The Improbable Cat by Allan Ahlberg
Influences: A Lexicon of Contemporary Graphic Design Practice by Anna Gerber
The Laughter of Dead Kings by Elizabeth Peters
Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks
My Big Dog by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel
Nanosferatu by Dean Whitlock
Oops-a-Daisy by Claire Freedman
Pink Brain, Blue Brain by Lise Eliot
Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink by Victoria Kann
Pokémon Adventures Volume 08 by Hidenori Kusaka
Saving Max by Antionette van Heugten
Seven Sins for Seven Dwarves by Hilary Goldstein
Sharing Geographic Information edited by Gerard Rushton and Harlan Joseph Onsrud
Stardust (Audio) by Neil Gaiman
Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R.L. LaFevers
The Tilting House by Tom Llewellyn
Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
Yo, Jo! by Rachel Isadora

Previous Month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



The Improbable Cat: 02/27/11

cover art

I spotted The Improbable Cat by Allan Ahlberg sitting on the recommended shelf in the children's library. I liked the cover an was curious about the title. I'm glad I read it even though it wasn't what I was expecting.

The cover, the silhouette of a cat sitting before a fire doesn't look especially ominous. The title invokes a slight sense of mystery. What exactly makes a cat improbable?

When David's family takes in a sickly gray kitten and begin to lavish more attention on it than they do the family dog, Billy, I expected a story in the vein of the Bad Kitty books or maybe a wild cat like Angus in the Georgia Nicholson books. This cat though, is something other, something belonging in an X Files or Doctor Who episode than a chapter book.

There's no actual violence, just an ever growing ill at ease mood. The cat becomes more and more of an obsession for the family and less and less catlike in the process. Think of Stitch raiding the refrigerator in Lilo & Stitch where he lets his guard down and Nani sees his extra appendages. This "cat" is like Stitch but with far less good will.

Middle graders and tweens who are beginning to discover Gothic horror, like Poe, will like The Improbable Cat.

Five stars.

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