Description of the book:
Duncan is a very smart boy growing up in a fishing village. The problem is that his mother encourages him to be perfectly average: she insists that he only get mediocre grades and avoid extra attention. His special talent is the ability to talk to cats—but Duncan longs more than anything for academic success.
When Duncan rebels and succeeds on a standardized test, however, people start taking notice of him. And it turns out that some of those people may not have the best intentions . . . With echoes of Peter Pan and the Warriors series, Lynne Jonell tells an epic tale of bravery, adventure, and self-discovery as Duncan learns to embrace his true identity.
Thank you Lynne Jonell for stopping by Kid Lit Frenzy and sharing a cat-themed list along with your drawings.
1. This is Duncan and his cat, Grizel. She’s the one who taught him to speak Cat. Of course everyone would be able to speak Cat if they were taught at the right age, but since most cats can’t be bothered, the right age slips by for 999 out of 1000… Duncan was one in a thousand.
2. These cats are headed for a midnight council in a graveyard on the Island of Dulle. (Duncan, who attends, doesn’t realize that the island won’t stay dull for long.)
3. This cat is called “Mr. Fluffers” by his mistress, and finds it humiliating. His life’s ambition is to be called “Spike” instead.
4. Fia, a white kitten with one blue eye and one green, has trouble passing her kitten examinations, and hasn’t yet gotten her Explorer’s permit. Her sisters and brother, Tibby, Tabby, and Tuff, mock her for this.
5.This does not look like a cat picture. But you have to use your imagination; the crate is packed with abducted kittens, all mewing for their mothers.
6. You have to use your imagination here as well. But I will give you a hint. Note the little cat ears and furry tail garnish.
7. Fia has been tossed overboard. Sometimes it doesn’t matter whether or not you have your Explorer’s permit yet—sometimes you just have to be brave anyway.
8. It’s a good thing that tigers also speak Cat, or Duncan would have been eaten. He would have been eaten through a misunderstanding, of course, but he would be just as dead.
9. Brig, the military tiger, has a strong sense of justice and fair play. Unfortunately for him, not everyone else does.
10. There are cats in this picture—a small white kitten perched where the boom crosses the mast, and a tiger lying majestically on the raft. They came along with Duncan because they want to help him restore justice to the kingdom of Arvidia. Also, they like eating flying fish.
About the author:
Lynne Jonell is the author of four novels, four chapter books, and seven picture books for children, published by Henry Holt, Random House, and Penguin/Putnam. Her first novel, Emmy & the Incredible Shrinking Rat, won the Minnesota Book Award, and her third novel, The Secret of Zoom, is a Junior Library Guild Selection. Her books are frequently selected for the Junior Library Guild, have received starred reviews in Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Sesame Street Parents, and have been published in nine languages. She teaches writing at the Loft Literary Center, is married and has two sons, and lives in Plymouth, Minnesota. For more information about Lynne, check out her website.