Book Review: Witch’s Cat Wanted – Apply Within, by Joy H. Davidson & Nikki Slade Robinson

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_witchs_cat_wantedJoy H. Davidson is from the Hawkes Bay. Davidson recieved the 2015 Joy Cowley Award for the unpublished manuscript of this book. Nikki Slade Robinson lives in Opitiki, and has written and illustrated a number of children’s books. Slade Robinson won the Picture Book award at the 2016 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults for her book Little Kiwi’s Matariki.

There was once a very pleasant witch. She looked exactly as a witch should look, except for one small, furry detail. No cat! She had a broom and a tall black hat but her spells wouldn’t work without a cat! She stirred her cauldron and with a rumble and a hiss, the cauldron spat out a sign!
Witch’s Cat
Wanted
Apply within

Knock, knock, tiddly-ock knock (don’t you love those words? – they drip off the tongue) on her front door. Outside sat a fluffy Persian cat. “I’ve come about the job” she purred. “Please come in,” the witch said. Unfortunately on further questioning the fluffy Persian couldn’t possibly ride on her broom as he’d get broomsick and cough up fur-balls into her cauldron. Whoever heard of a broomsick cat?

The story continues with an elegant Siamese cat applying for the job – he too was unsuccessful as he couldn’t possibly eat animal gizzards and live with toads and lizards. He was far too fussy with his food to be a successful witch’s cat.

I read this book to nearly 2-year-old Quinn. She sat attentively listening to the story with us both stopping and admiring the different cats. Quinn’s vocabulary is fairly limited, but she really enjoyed this story. I was told to “read it” Grandma again and then again. Quinn then took the book from me and said “mine”. So one little girl was captivated by poor witch trying hard to fill a job vacancy for a full-time companion and assistant. The ending is rather wonderful with the solution so obvious, it’s a wonder we all didn’t think of it!

This is a beautiful story with such lovely illustrations. Quinn has a birthday shortly so this book will join others as part of her 2nd birthday presents.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Witch’s Cat Wanted – Apply Within
by Joy H. Davidson & Nikki Slade Robinson
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775433729

Book Review: Molly and the Cat Cafe, by Melissa Daley

cv_molly_and_the_cat_cafeAvailable now in bookshops nationwide.

This is a delightful book. The tale is told from the viewpoint of Molly, a much loved cat who loses her home when her elderly human, suffering from dementia, is placed in an aged care facility. Initially Molly is rehomed in a house with three dogs and a man who often forgets to feed her. After a particularly disconcerting episode with the largest of the dogs, Molly decides to find someone else to love and be loved by in return.

On her journey she encounters both kindness and hostility from humans and felines alike and when she finally reaches the place she will come to call home she has gained a wisdom and compassion that aids the new humans in her life to overcome problems that seemed insurmountable.

The author has managed to write a story that deals with very human problems while using an unlikely heroine. There is nothing mawkish or cutesy about this tale. It touches the heart and makes the reader keep turning the pages to discover not only Molly’s eventual success in her quest for love and acceptance, but that of the human characters as well.

Reviewed by Lesley Vlietstra

Molly and the Cat Cafe
by Melissa Daley
Published by Pan Books
ISBN 9781509804306

Words of the Day: Tuesday, 5 November 2013

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