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What The Cat Knows

 

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July 2002

For all ages and anyone who loves/tolerates cats.

ISBN: 0-595-23537-9

$9.95 U.S. / $15.95 Can / £8.99 U.K.


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When a small kitten (Cupcake) is brought home, her new owners (Andy and Carol) donít quite know what to make of her strange behavior. Since Andy and Carol have never had a cat, they didnít realize that all cats behave this way. As it turns out, thereís more going on in the home than Andy and Carol can see. Horrible germ creatures are lurking about, trying to make people sick. Only cats can see them and itís Cupcakeís job to make sure she keeps these creatures from getting her family sick. The kitten attacks the germ creatures, even though she is very afraid of them. Another cat (Thomas) tries to help Cupcake find her courage. Thomas also helps Cupcake understand her feelings about the new baby that has just arrived in the home. Just as Cupcake is about to conquer her fear, an evil germ creature has come into the home and itís after the new baby.

 

 

 

Hairballs And Sticky Things

 

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April 2003

For all ages and anyone who loves cats (tolerates) and dogs.

 

ISBN: 0-595-27470-6

$10.95 U.S. / $17.95 Can / £9.49 U.K.


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After teaching his friend to fight germ creatures, in What The Cat Knows, Thomas was last seen heading home to find his pets. Germ creatures are responsible for infecting people with disease and making them sick. Cats are the only ones that can see these creatures and cure them. Hairballs And Sticky Things tells the story of Thomasís adventure home as he looks to be reunited with his family. Thomas has not seen his family in many years and is hoping his pets missed him as much as he misses them. Along the way home, Thomas discovers something about the germ creatures that no cat ever knew. Thomas has also uncovered an evil germ creature plot that will destroy the world. Now Thomas and his friends must stop the germ creatures and save mankind before time runs out.

Reviewer: Rebecca Johnson The Rebecca Review (Issaquah, Washington) It always gives me a shiver when I see a cat seeing what I can't see. Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965) When Brent Schofield found a kitten on the road in July of 1998 a story was born. Cupcake is the hero of the story and the author was inspired to write about her due to her more-than-wild-kitten-like-behavior. Andy and Carol take on the responsibilities of a new kitten but are confused by her strange behavior. They buy books on cats and try to understand why she at times runs like mad through the house or goes tearing up the curtains. Cat owners will be able to relate to these stories. The first chapter is from Andy and Carol's perspective. The second chapter is from Cupcake's perspective and from there on out, she has a real personality and talks to another cat and has her own thoughts about the situation she is in. It is cute to see how she finds courage and learns to accept the new baby and how she gets up the courage to find the germ creatures. "Her ears picked up the scratching sound of the creature. She lowered her body and stalked along the wall toward the living room. She peered into the dimly lit room and saw the germ creature sitting on top of the coffee table. Cupcake trembled. She thought she wouldn't be afraid this time, but she didn't know where the other germ was....." All the while, Cupcake is fighting off creatures Andy and Carol can't see in an attempt to protect them. She takes her job very seriously. This is a story for ages 9-12 which will make kids laugh and has enough suspense to keep their attention. Much of this story reminded me of both my cats when they were kittens. Cat "pets/owners" will enjoy the humor and remember when their kittens acted in similar ways. However, now you will know why. ;) You will relate to giving a cat a bath and know it is not their favorite activity. I would say it is not good to give cats milk, they do have milk "just" for cats now. However, the author mentions that: "The plastic from around the milk jug top was one of her favorite things to play with." This is so true! I have yet to meet a cat who did not go wild with cat-like joy when they found the ring from around the milk jug top. Also, cats have been know to fight off disease by catching rats. The European bubonic plague of medieval times was largely due to the huge rat population. Cats are well known for controlling rodent populations, however people at that time did not see the connection and thought cats were evil. A clever story to teach children how to respect cats and perhaps they will want to know more about cats and maybe even adopt a kitten from a shelter. Adults who love cats might also be amused. "What the Cat Knows" is cute, comical and creative. A wonderfully delightful tale!!, December 13, 2002 Reviewer: Deborah MacGillivray (Scotland, England & US) Looking for the perfect gift for your friend who loves kitties?...well here it is!! This a beautiful written tale of a foundling kitty, and her struggle to protect her family. All cat owners will relate to this delightful tale of understanding why kitty behaves in such odd fashion, giving kitty a bath, or how kitty loves the ring on the milk jug as the best toy in the world while ignoring all the [other] ones we buy. I have a little grey kitten with black stripes, much like the kitty in the tale, and I found her at the same age, nearly starved and desperately needing a home, so this tale touched my heart. Perfect for children 9-12, but one the whole family can share. Reviewed by Michael LaRocca, author of RISING FROM THE ASHES, August 25, 2003 Larocca (Shaoxing, Zhejiang China) If you own a cat, does it ever seem like you own two of them? The one who wants to be cuddled, and the one who flees your attention. The one who purrs calmly at your feet as you sleep and watches you build furniture, and the one who randomly charges through the house attacking invisible monsters? In this book, all is explained. That is exactly what your cat is doing. Attacking invisible monsters. Invisible to you. Not to the cat. And, by the way, the monsters are real. A small kitten is rescued from the roadside. Her owners, who have never owned a cat before, don't know what to make of her strange behavior. It's not strange at all, though. They don't realize this, because they've never owned a cat. As a cat owner myself, I was groaning at bits of the first chapter. It's obvious the characters in this book don't know cats. But, lots of people don't. Not a thing unrealistic about it. But, I know cats, so I groaned. At the characters, not the author. The author knows how to tell a story. Chapter two, the balancing act begins. How can an author write middle grade fiction, largely through a cat's eyes, without the anthropomorphism growing trite, twee or condescending? Well, they could do far worse than follow Schofield's example. Cupcake is a kitten, somehow separated from her mother before she could learn the valuable purpose cats serve, much less the skills she needs. I'd never name a cat of mine Cupcake, but again, her pet humans are new to all this. Consider it one more obstacle she must overcome. According to the book's web page, it contains "humor, suspense, and lessons about finding courage." That's absolutely correct. And, I enjoyed reading it. I recommend visiting the web page. Oh, and please don't judge this book by its cover. Quite honestly, I don't like the cover. But I do like the book. More than a children's book -- for all ages., December 24, 2002 Reviewer: Joan M. Lewis "georgiagirl2002" (GA United States) What the Cat Knows By Brent R. Schofield Review by Joan Moore Lewis, author of southern fiction Perfect Gift for first-time cat owner Have you ever noticed the strange actions of a cat? I have noticed how friends' cats would entertain me for a while by running, jumping, attacking the drapes, and wrestling with an invisible opponent on the floor before slinking off to another room. Upon their return, they would act calm, cool and collected. Now I understand why. When Andy and Carol take the abandoned Cupcake into their home, they are in for a number of surprises. It is fun to see Cupcake, the playful kitten, get tangled in wallpaper and glue while "helping" Andy decorate the new baby's room. After she gets established in her new home, Cupcake becomes friendly with Thomas, an outside cat. Even though Cupcake is growing up, she is still unsure of herself and her actions. Through windowsill conversations, Thomas is instrumental in helping Cupcake overcome fear and develop courage. Pets have a way of becoming part of the family, and Thomas is no exception. He had once been a part of a family he missed terribly. At the end of "What the Cat Knows," Thomas was leaving to go back to his family. Does Brent Schofield know what happened to Thomas, and if so, will he tell us in a sequel? I certainly hope so. This is more than a children's book; I recommend it to anyone who has ever owned or observed a cat. We want more!!!, October 2, 2002 Reviewer: Joleen McNulty "joleen61" My sister bought this book for my 8 year old daughter because she too is a cat lover. She was very reluctant for me to read it to her because it was a "chapter book without pictures". She likes to look at the pictures while I'm reading. I convinced her to listen for a little while and if she didn't like it, we'd switch to another of her favorite books. She immediately fell in love with the characters in this book and she's asked me to contact the author because she wants to know what is going to happen to Cupcake and Thomas!! We found this book to be charming, well written and so funny! I have often wanted to write children's stories and after reading this book, I am more inspired to do so. We do hope there is a sequel to this book! Reviewer: Michael Larocca In What The Cat Knows, Thomas teaches Cupcake how to kill germs. She teaches him that he should go home after a four-year absence and seek forgiveness. In Hairballs and Sticky Things, he does. Once again, the author successfully performs his balancing act. A book for young readers featuring anthropomorphism which is never condescending or just plain awful. It's well-written and a pleasure to read. It's hard to think of this as a sequel to What The Cat Knows. That was Cupcake's story. This is Thomas' story. She's an indoor cat. He's an outdoor cat, a nomad. With silly stinky sidekick Honcy, he must cross the countryside. Like Odysseus, he doesn't know what will await him at the end of his journey. A previous reviewer preferred the first book. I prefer this one. I'm a bit of a nomad myself, I've given a few roaming cats temporary shelter, and I always feel like a country cat in a big city. (I live in Hangzhou, China.) All a matter of taste. According to its web page, "great for anyone who likes cats or dogs, this story is full of action, humor, and friendship." Absolutely correct. And, let me add, just because it's aimed at young readers doesn't mean adults can't enjoy it as well. Again, I recommend visiting the web page. And, it has a better cover than its predecessor. Brent scores again with this 'all family' tale., July 3, 2003 Reviewer: Deborah MacGillivray (Scotland, England & US) Hairballs and Sticky Things is the charming follow-up tale to WHAT THE CAT KNOWS. Thomas, the secondary character in the first book, helped his feline friend learn to overcome her fears and fight the germ creatures. Thomas was last seen in the first book 'riding off into the sunset' with plans to return home. This book picks up with Thomas' adventures as he returns to his home to be reunited with his family. (I think I had a Thomas once. She would go off and be gone for a month or more, and then suddenly show up out of the blue again!!) In Thomas' case, it's been years since he saw his family, and he is questioning if they missed him...hoping they missed him. However, along the way, he makes the discovery that the evil germ creatures are hatching a plot to destroy mankind. Thomas and his pestersome girlfriend must stop the Germ Monsters before time runs out. This is another wonderful, warm, humorous tale for the whole family. Brent does not write down to readers, as often writers tend to do in children's tales, but makes this an all family 'gift' to share. If you read WHAT THE CAT KNOWS, you must read these one as well. If you have not discovered the talent of Brent Schofield, then order both tales! Perfect presents for children 9 and up. A marvelous time to share with your children - and enjoy yourself!! Perfect story-book ending, May 12, 2003 Reviewer: Joan M. Lewis "georgiagirl2002" (GA United States) Hairballs and Sticky Things By Brent R. Schofield Thomas was voted "best supporting" cat in WHAT THE CAT KNOWS, and now he is the star in his own book, HAIRBALLS AND STICKY THINGS. On the way home to find his pets (a cat's name for people), Thomas encounters several germ creatures and meets new friends. Honcy, an alley cat, knows his way around town and has plenty of connections in the cat world. Chester, the oldest and wisest of all, suffers the most humiliating thing a cat can endure at the hands of the germ creatures. Honcy and Thomas come to his rescue and together the three of them lead the city cats into war against the germ creatures. Thomas locates his pets through Honcy's pipeline of information, and the two of them are welcomed into their apartment. After his bath, Honcy, the brown, dirty and smelly cat is transformed into a handsome white Persian cat. The perfect story-book ending.
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© 2003 Brent R. Schofield. All rights reserved.