Monday, October 12, 2015

The Cat Who Came in off the Roof by Annie M.G. Schmidt

From the publisher: An act of kindness brings shy reporter Mr. Tibble into contact with the unusual Miss Minou. Tibble is close to losing his job because he only writes stories about cats. Fortunately, Minou provides him with real news. She gets the juicy inside information from her local feline friends, who are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. Tibble is appreciative, but he wonders how she does it. He has noticed that Minou is terrified of dogs and can climb trees and rooftops with elegance and ease. . . . It's almost as if she's a cat herself. But how can that be?

The Cat Who Came in off the Roof is a charming tale by award-winning Dutch author Annie M.G. Schmidt, now translated into English and scheduled to be published in January 2016.

Miss Minou is in fact a cat, turned into a human after eating rubbish outside a research institute. She sleeps in a box and can still understand Cattish, which is how she is able to provide Mr. Tibble with all those news scoops. There are cats everywhere, and they see and hear everything.

The Cat Who Came in off the Roof is wise in the ways of cats and full of felines with big personalities.  The humor is sly and subtle: 
When Minou came home with some news story or other and told Tibble how she’d got it, he cried, "It’s all so organized! One cat passes it on to the next. … It’s a kind of cat press agency."
"I’m not sure I like the sound of that,’ Minou said hesitantly. ‘A cat press … it makes me think of a garlic press. Squished cat."
"Not a cat-press agency," Tibble said, "a cat press agency.’
(p. 28 of the advance reader copy)

The Cat Who Came in off the Roof would make a fabulous chapter book to read with any young cat lover. The artwork is adorable, with different drawings of cute cats starting off each chapter.

I read an advance reader copy of The Cat Who in off the Roof.

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