This story of a drifting boat was inspired by a real-life event when a fisherman forgot to tie his boat up properly. Two cats, tempted by the smell of fish became castaways, hence the title Captain Cat. The cover illustration is brightly coloured with the ginger cat looking as though it is in command of the boat and about to conquer the high seas.
Joan captures the personality of cats well with their curiosity, playfulness, love of fish and sense of adventure. It is these characteristics that see the cats jump onto the boat, causing the sloppy knot to untie and setting the boat adrift. Adults along the beach are oblivious to the potential disaster, but a few eagle-eyed kids spot the boat and use social media to sound the alert.
The text is fun to read with rhyming couplets and the illustrations are full of colourful detail that add to the story. Younger children will enjoy looking at the little extras in the pictures e.g. the shocked fish and surprised seagulls, even if they can’t yet read all the text.
This book celebrates kiwi culture with our love of fishing from a ‘tinny’ and social gatherings by the beach. It will resonate well with New Zealanders, especially those living or holidaying near the sea.
Title: Captain Cat
Author: Joan Joass
Illustrator: Bob Darroch
Publication: June 2021
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Library Manager, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
Opening sentence: The Joneses lived at number 4 - they had a house right by the shore.
You can buy this book here