Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Hotel Cat: Review

There were a number of excellent children's books that were published in 1969 (the same year I made my debut in the world). Excellent books that I somehow managed to miss out on when I was growing up--like The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and Sylvester & the Magic Pebble by William Steig. I didn't read either of these until I had my son and we discovered these stories at the library. The Hotel Cat by Esther Averill is another children's book that I never heard of until I went searching for more 1969 books for the Birth Year Reading Challenge. It gives us the story of a stray cat who makes his way to the Royal Hotel cellar. Mr. Fred, the Furnace Man, takes him in, gives him a good meal and, after the young cat proves himself a worker by taking care of the rats and mice in the cellar, offers him a home and a name--Tom.

Soon, Tom has the rodent population under control and he ventures upstairs to see if there might be work for him there as well. He meets Mrs. Wilkins, a long-time resident of the hotel who has a gift for talking with cats, and she helps him discover the true work of Hotel Cat--to welcome any guests, including the numerous cats whose owners seek shelter in Big Freeze. Tom isn't sure about sharing his territory with so many other cats, but he learns lessons in friendship as well as being a good host and in the end he finds himself welcomed to the Cat Club and helping to host an unforgettable Stardust Winter Ball.

This is a lovely classic book with good lessons about friendship and responsibility. It features a delightful story and fun illustrations (also by Esther Averill). I wish I had discovered this story (and the other Cat Club books) when I was young--or at least when my son was small. But it was an enjoyable read for this adult--and I nearly finished it on my birthday! ★★★★

[finished on 6/28/17]


Ryan said...

That looks frickin adorable, and I don't like cats.

Becky said...

I read this a few years ago and LOVED IT. There's a whole series :)

J.G. said...

These are the kinds of animal books I loved when I was a kid. Somehow I missed this one, and thanks to your review, I'm rather sorry about that!

Congrats on meeting your goal for the Birth Year Reading Challenge!