The Travels of Mr. Cat

Jenny Carey, illustrated by Jane Luna

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 24 Price: (paperback) $13.25 ISBN: 9781664117389 Reviewed: March, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

A cat experiences adventures while traveling around town in this simple children’s picture book.

Mr Cat (the author uses British English, which doesn’t require a period after the abbreviation of Mister) lives in England with Kate, a 12-year-old girl, and her parents. As the book opens, he wakes up one morning and strolls into town, where he finds Kate’s father, Jim, a traveling sales representative. Together they go off in Jim’s car for the day. At each stop, Mr Cat explores the outdoor areas while Jim conducts his business inside.

At the first stop, Mr Cat gets into a fight with some stray cats; at the next, he climbs a tree and is bitten by a squirrel. Then he chases—and is chased by—mice, and at a farm owned by Jim’s brother, he accidentally brushes against a table, causing an egg to drop on him. After washing the egg off, he goes inside to dry himself by the fireplace, and soon returns home to Kate.

The book is short and unpretentious, with pleasant color illustrations throughout. While there are dangerous moments, like the cat fight, these are treated with humor more than fear or worry. The result is a story that is lighthearted but not milquetoast.

Mr Cat is a genuinely likeable, curious character, and witnessing the variety of his afternoon allows readers to be in on the joke when Kate asks him what he did all day. (“If only cats could talk!” reads the text.)

As noted, the book is written in “British English,” but it isn’t likely to confuse or distract American readers. However, the text includes a few terms, like “semi-detached house,” that might be unfamiliar to elementary schoolers, and the text blocks on each page are sometimes long and dense.

Overall, this is an engaging story nicely suited to its picture book format that answers the question, “What do cats do all day?” in kid-friendly style.

Also available as an ebook and audio book.

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