Lucy can't help but feel lonely when she and her brother move in with their gran, leaving behind their old friends. Lucy wishes she could have a pet, but Gran isn't keen on animals. A stray kitten catches Lucy's attention, and she instantly falls in love with it. Where will the kitten go if she can't find anyone to take her in?
The Secret Kitten marks Holly Webb's thirtieth animal book for children, which I think is pretty amazing! It's a great book, as always, and I'm sure all her legions of fans will love it.
To celebrate Holly's milestone, there's a '30 Days of Holly' blog tour running, and I'm delighted to be a part of it. Big thanks to Holly for writing this post for me, and here's to thirty more books!
My Top Animal Reads
by Holly Webb
This is a terrible confession for a blog that’s supposed to be recommending books to other people, but I don’t know the title of this first one… It was the very first animal story that I remember loving, a photo picture book about a kitten climbing to the top of a ladder and getting stuck. The kitten was ginger and very furry, and beautiful. Perhaps there should be a prize for anyone who can tell me what it was called?! It obviously had a great effect on my future writing…
The Mog Books, Judith Kerr. All of them. So fabulous – so many wonderful descriptive moments. I always loved it that Mog couldn’t remember how to get back in through her catflap and had to sit in the geraniums and mew till she was let in. I have three cats at the moment, and this combination of stubbornness, idiocy and guile is absolutely typical.
The Horse and His Boy, CS Lewis. I loved all the Narnia books, mostly because of the talking animals, but this was my absolute favourite – Bree the horse is so bossy, and then so sadly humble. (Secretly I preferred him grand, and always felt sorry for him at the end…)
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, TS Eliot. There are beautiful new editions of this available, but for me you need the Nicolas Bentley illustrations, particularly of the Jellicles wearing huge hats. This was a book I found in my parents’ book case and read over and over again. I love it that Jellicle cats was actually a small boy’s mispronunciation of “Dear little cats”.
The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford. We got a gorgeous English Bull Terrier when I was about 7, so I had a particular affection for Bodger. I also yearned after a blue-eyed cat like Tao – Milly, my Bengal cat, has blue-green eyes. I loved this book, and found it terrifying at the same time, especially the fights. The end is heartbreaking and wonderful.
One Dog and His Boy, Eva Ibbotson. This is a recent discovery from reading it with my children, and it’s beautiful. Hal’s joy in the small details of looking after Fleck is perfect, and then their great escape is so exciting!
There are so many lovely books I could talk about – hopefully this small selection will give you something new!