Review: Anton and Cecil, Cats at Sea by Lisa Martin, Valerie Martin, and Kelly Murphy (Illustrations)

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Anton and Cecil, Cats at Sea by Lisa Martin, Valerie Martin, and Kelly Murphy (Illustrations)

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers (October 8, 2013)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

Black and white line drawings illustrate each chapter.

For ages 8-12, grades 3-7.

A swashbuckling story of two very different cat brothers and their adventures at sea.

Cat brothers Cecil and Anton are as different in
personality as they
are in looks. Cecil, stocky and black with white patches, thirsts for
seafaring adventure as he roams the docks of his harborside home, taking
day trips on fishing boats when the chance comes along. Slim, gray
Anton prefers listening to the sailors’ shanties at the town saloon. But
one day when Anton does venture to the port, he’s stolen
off the dock, and the next thing he knows, he’s at sea.

Knowing little of the wide open ocean that lies beyond the harbor,
Cecil boards another ship in hopes of finding Anton. But what begins as a
rescue mission turns into a pair of high seas adventures, with thrills
and danger bubbling under every wave.

Anton takes on a fierce rat, outwits hungry birds, and forges a
forbidden friendship, while Cecil encounters dolphins and whales and
finds himself in the middle of a pirate raid. On an ocean as vast as the
one Anton and Cecil have discovered, will they see home—or each
other—ever again?

Orange Prize­−winning author Valerie Martin’s and Lisa Martin’s
colorful cast of characters, rich historical detail, and lyrical
storytelling will delight fans of such classic animal adventures as The Wind in the Willows, Stuart Little, and Poppy.

About Valerie Martin:

Valerie Martin is the author of
nine novels, including Trespass, Mary Reilly, Italian Fever, and
Property, three collections of short fiction, and a biography of St.
Francis of Assisi, titled Salvation. She has been awarded a grant from
the National Endowment for the Arts and a John Simon Guggenheim
Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize (for Mary Reilly) and Britain’s
Orange Prize (for Property). Martin’s last novel, The Confessions of
Edward Day was a New York Times notable book for 2009.
 
A new novel
The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is due from Nan Talese/Random House in
January 2014, and a middle-grade book Anton and Cecil, Cats at Sea,
co-written with Valerie’s niece Lisa Martin, will be out from Algonquin
in October of 2013.
 
Valerie Martin has taught in writing programs at
Mt. Holyoke College, Univ. of Massachusetts, and Sarah Lawrence
College, among others. She resides in Dutchess County, New York and is
currently Professor of English at Mt. Holyoke College. 


Website 

About Lisa Martin:

I grew up in New Orleans and
spent my high school years writing overwrought poems and short stories.
Detouring away from words and toward numbers, I earned graduate degrees
in business, met my husband Roger in Texas, and taught accounting to
college sophomores until our sons came along. I became very active in
their school community and read lots of books with them, studying and
eventually trying my hand at children’s poetry and prose. Cole and
Cabot were 10 and 8 when my aunt Valerie Martin (by then a celebrated
author) suggested we collaborate on a children’s novel, which was a very
happy stroke of luck for me.
 
I live now in Charlottesville,
Virginia with my family and our two cats, Albert and T.J., all of whom
have made their way into my stories.

My Thoughts:

A swashbuckling adventure full of mystery, superstition, and a little
magic.  I absolutely loved this book! This is the type of story that
will be enjoyed by children young and old.

I loved the cats, I loved the pirates, and I loved the mouse. I liked
the way each cat landed in a situation that stretched and challenged
them specifically.  This is a very fun book!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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