cover image The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof

The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof

Annie M.G. Schmidt, trans. from the Dutch by David Colmer. Delacorte, $14.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-553-53500-6

In this delightfully quirky story from the late Dutch author Schmidt (1911–1995), which was originally published in the Netherlands in 1970, a timid, feline-obsessed reporter is about to lose his job for filing stories on cats instead of more newsworthy fare. Mr. Tibble leaves his editor’s office knowing that he’ll be fired if he doesn’t produce better stories, only to rescue a woman named Miss Minou from a tree. When the woman shows up at his attic apartment, she confides that she used to be a cat, which seems outlandish to Tibble until her feline behaviors—such as sleeping in a box, hiding from dogs, and rubbing up against people—begin to convince him otherwise. In exchange for housing, Minou activates a “cat press agency,” enlisting local cats to feed her scoops that Tibble turns into hard-hitting articles. Tibble’s newfound wealth and influence is tested when a tip reveals the sinister side of a beloved philanthropist. It’s a satisfying and triumphant fantasy—one that will have readers watching what they say in front of their cats. Ages 10–up. (Jan.)