cover image Captain Cat

Captain Cat

Inga Moore. Candlewick, $15.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6151-9

Captain Cat, a fez-wearing, white-bearded old salt whose nickname derives from his love of felines—“There were more cats on board his ship... than there were sailors in his crew”—sets off to find his heart’s desire and discovers a remote island covered with swaying palms and Alhambra-like architecture. Its only problem? Rats. The island is ruled by the Queen, a frizzy-headed, supremely self-confident child; when she finds out what effective rat-killers cats are (she’s never seen one before), she offers Captain Cat all her treasure in exchange for them. Lest readers think Captain Cat a heartless cad for accepting, Moore (A House in the Forest) assures them “it was the cats themselves who had the final say.... they refused to go back on board.” Sun-bleached, finely crosshatched seascapes of wooden ships and rolling breakers alternate with endearing portraits of the kindly Captain Cat, the sassy queen, and the furry rat-dispatchers. A direct descendant of British-style exploits from Nesbit to Dahl—and with plenty of room to unfold leisurely, as befits a voyage of exploration—this is an adventure readers will savor. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)