Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Walker Books Summer Book Party - "Captain Cat" by Inga Moore. Purr-fect in every way!

Captain Cat by Inga Moore. Prepare to lose yourself in a luxurious and beautiful book. 
We feel very fortunate to have been included in Walker Books fabulous "Summer Picture Book Party" blog tour. When we first saw the five books that would be highlighted by the blog tour, one book was instantly grabbed, cuddled and demanded by Charlotte above all the others. It's not really surprising, as this is often the effect Inga Moore's books have on us both (Six Dinner Sid nailed the perfect score of 5 out of 5 stars back when we first started out book blogging).

She has excelled herself with this utterly beautiful tale so without further ado let's dive into "Captain Cat".

We first meet the white bearded seafaring trader at a turning point in his life. Captain Cat - so called because he really cannot resist trading his fabulous wares for moggies of every shape, size and description, has reached his twilight years wondering what lies beyond the oft-sailed trade routes. What wild, weird and wonderful lands lay out there, yet to be discovered. What riches do they hold?

The Queen spies some new visitors! (Utterly, utterly beautifu panel) 
So one day Captain Cat, along with his crew and of course his countless feline companions, sets his sails and turns right instead of left out of port, into the great unknown.

For many weeks he sails and soon discovers a fabulous island, ruled by a child queen (the sort of character that has Charlotte cheering loudly - "She's a girl just like me!") who loves her new visitors and beckons the captain, his handsome crew and the cute cats to dine with her at the royal palace. The queen has never seen cats before and falls in love with them.

Even more so when the palace is suddenly plagued by a cheeky horde of rats who ruin dinner, taking a mischievous dip in the soup tureens and generally making a complete pest of themselves.

The poor queen is distraught and embarrassed but Captain Cat is on hand, and his faithful tribe of fantastic felines get straight to work on those rats, making short work of them.

The queen is overjoyed and really wants the cats to help clean up the rest of the island and offers the captain fabulous riches in exchange for his cats. But a seafaring captain always has a faraway look in his eye, so the time comes when the captain must make a life-changing decision - leave the island with a huge fortune, or keep his cats...

There are many reasons why this book was our favourite of the five Walker Books we received. Charlotte absolutely lapped up the fabulous characters (particularly the Queen as I've already mentioned) but she loved the captain too ("He looks kind, and smiles a lot, he's happy" she said).

Inga's artwork is luxurious, sumptuous, a feast for the eyes. It kept reminding me of the timeless and wonderful 'Rupert' artwork from Alfred Bestall...

Rupert the Bear by Alfred Bestall. So utterly brilliant. 
Inga's deftly woven story doesn't lay on too thick a moral tale that riches aren't always the key to happiness, it's just such a fantastic and truly captivating book that I really cannot wait for folk to get hold of when it's released in October, just to tell us what they think of it.

Charlotte's best bit: Without being too spoilery (we hope) there's a great panel and story 'twist' at the end with a basket full of...oh you'll see, you'll see and you will LOVE that page too.

Daddy's favourite bit: Loved this tale, that instantly feels original and destined to become a well-loved classic. So easy to get lost in its utterly dazzling landscapes, wonderful characters and gentle prose.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Walker Books, as part of the Summer Picture Book Party Blog Tour)