Kaspar the Titanic Cat

Kaspar the Titanic Cat

4.1 16
by Michael Morpurgo, Michael Foreman
     
 

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When kaspar the cat first arrived at London’s Savoy Hotel, it was Johnny Trott who carried him in. After all, Johnny was a bellboy and was responsible for all of Countess Kandinsky’s things— including Kaspar. But when tragedy befalls the Countess during her stay, Kaspar becomes more than Johnny’s responsibility: Kaspar is Johnny’s

Overview

When kaspar the cat first arrived at London’s Savoy Hotel, it was Johnny Trott who carried him in. After all, Johnny was a bellboy and was responsible for all of Countess Kandinsky’s things— including Kaspar. But when tragedy befalls the Countess during her stay, Kaspar becomes more than Johnny’s responsibility: Kaspar is Johnny’s new cat, and his new best friend.

And when Kaspar and Johnny meet Lizziebeth, a spirited young heiress, they find themselves journeying across the Atlantic with Lizziebeth’s family on England’s newest and most magnificent ship, the Titanic. Because there is always adventure in the air with a cat like Kaspar around. After all, he’s Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats, a Londoner and a New Yorker and, as far as anyone knows, the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Former British children’s laureate Morpurgo (War Horse) offers a sweet, touching historical novel (published in the U.K. in 2008) that balances sentimentality with humor and action. The orphaned 14-year-old narrator, Johnny Trott, a put-upon bellhop at a London hotel, becomes the caretaker of the titular cat after the sudden death of Kaspar’s owner, the opera singer Countess Kandinsky. As Johnny attempts to hide his new charge from the hotel’s malicious head housekeeper, Mrs. Blaise (nicknamed “Skullface”), he worries that Kaspar is pining for his late owner. Kaspar cheers up when he meets Lizziebeth, a girl who instantly takes to the cat. Morpurgo keeps the action moving swiftly, with new characters and concerns shoring up the fast friendship that forms between the two teenagers (and the cat they love). Readers might find the title misleading—only about a third of the story takes place on board the Titanic, although it certainly represents the tensest part of the novel—but the story is more than enjoyable enough to compensate, with Foreman’s delicately detailed spot art contributing to the book’s strong sense of atmosphere. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Young readers stricken with Titanic fever will be more than happy to have yet another timely...take on the sinking.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Young readers stricken with Titanic fever will be more than happy to have yet another timely...take on the sinking."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Young readers stricken with Titanic fever will be more than happy to have yet another timely...take on the sinking.”
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
Young teen Johnny Trott is an orphaned bellboy at the posh Savoy Hotel in London in 1912. When opera star Countess Kandinsky arrives for a three-month stay, Johnny transports her luggage, and her yowling cat Kaspar, to her room; in so doing he begins to earn her trust, respect, and eventually affection. Her sudden death leaves him as caretaker of Kaspar, a fact he must hide from the hotel's head housekeeper, known as Skullface to hotel staff. Lizziebeth Stanton, a rich, young American staying at the Savoy, befriends Johnny and Kaspar; his rescue of her from a high perch leads to her family's friendship and concern for the boy. When it's time for the Stantons' return to America, Johnny takes their bags to the Titanic, where he lingers too long on deck and becomes a stowaway. Miraculously, Johnny manages to save Kaspar as the ship goes down and the four plus Kaspar are safely reunited and happily spend time together in NYC before the outbreak of World War I. About half of the book takes place before the Titanic sails and provides an interesting look at life in London in the early twentieth century. The fast-moving story is easy to read and Foreman's detailed black-and-white drawings add detail and emotion, effectively portraying lifestyle and events. There is an old-fashioned feel to this light historical novel. With so much attention to the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's fatal voyage, it is a fun and somewhat exciting look not only on board but also at the period. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
Kirkus Reviews
Readers might be tempted to check the copyright date on this old-fashioned rags-to-riches tale that manages to turn a major historical disaster into just another incident in the narrator's very full life. The overall tone is decidedly nostalgic as Johnny Trott, a poor orphan who once worked as a bellboy at the swanky Savoy Hotel in London, tells his story. From the arrival (and untimely demise) of a talented Russian singer and her titular cat Kaspar through Johnny's acquaintance with a mischievous young American girl, a stint as a stowaway on the Titanic, the well-known sinking of the great ship, life in the United States, the Great War and back (just for a visit) to the Savoy, Morpurgo crams in too much action with too little emotional depth. Stilted conversational styles reflect the formality of the day but serve to further distance readers. Kaspar, while realistically portrayed in his feline hauteur and self-absorption, has limited appeal and, like most of the other characters, seems to exist mainly to propel the plot. Foreman's black-and-white illustrations have a pleasing variation of texture, the likely result of having been first rendered in watercolor. From small vignettes to larger scenes, they effectively capture the styles of the day and accurately reflect the action, but they can't quite manage to enliven the text. Surprisingly (and disappointingly) dull. (Historical fiction. 9-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Despite the title, this is really the story of a bell boy at the ritzy Savoy Hotel in London. Kaspar arrives with a wealthy Russian singer, and, after her tragic death, Johnny Trott takes care of him even though he is not allowed any pets in his room. Elizabeth Stanton, the young daughter of rich Americans, and her family are staying at the Savoy until they sail home. After accompanying the Stantons to the ship and giving Kaspar to Lizziebeth, Johnny makes a rash decision to stow away. He is rapidly discovered and put to work in the engine room stoking the big furnaces. When the iceberg is hit, Johnny goes to wake the Stantons and helps to rescue Kaspar and get him on a lifeboat. All three Stantons, Kaspar, and Johnny survive the disaster and Johnny is adopted by the family. There is nothing remarkable about this story to make it stand out from among the other offerings commemorating the famous disaster. The characters are likable, but almost caricatures; for instance, the matron in charge is called "Skullface" by the children because she is mean and angry. Foreman's black-and-white illustrations, many full page, help accentuate the narrative, and short sentences, adequate white space, and the medium-size text will aid readers who are transitioning to more challenging chapter books. However, the nostalgic, humdrum story may not captivate their interest.—Amy Commers, South St. Paul Public Library, MN

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062006189
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
142,180
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best-loved children’s book writers. He has written more than one hundred books and has won the Smarties Book Prize, the Whitbread Award, and the Blue Peter Book Award for Private Peaceful. Michael was writer-in-residence at the Savoy Hotel from January to April 2007, and previously he was Great Britain’s Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005, a role that took him across the country to inspire a love of reading in children.

Michael Foreman grew up in a small English fishing village and has loved the sea ever since. He has illustrated more than one hundred children’s books, and he has won the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Prize, and the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ Red House Children’s Book Award. He has collaborated with Michael Morpurgo on several successful books, including The Amazing Story Of Adolphus Tips and Billy the Kid.

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best-loved children’s book writers. He has written more than one hundred books and has won the Smarties Book Prize, the Whitbread Award, and the Blue Peter Book Award for Private Peaceful. Michael was writer-in-residence at the Savoy Hotel from January to April 2007, and previously he was Great Britain’s Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005, a role that took him across the country to inspire a love of reading in children.

Michael Foreman grew up in a small English fishing village and has loved the sea ever since. He has illustrated more than one hundred children’s books, and he has won the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Prize, and the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ Red House Children’s Book Award. He has collaborated with Michael Morpurgo on several successful books, including The Amazing Story Of Adolphus Tips and Billy the Kid.

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Kaspar the Titanic Cat 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ingnore bad citisims.this is the best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not true Bc the cat, but it is a Good book and the Cat is soo brave c:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love brave cats
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was written in a beautiful way, and was probably one of the best books I have ever read. It's perfect for confident readers of seven+. This book is perfect for everyone, and for parents to read to younger children as a bedtime story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not only that it is thrilling it uses exactly my name
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was so good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good stry to behold, but its truthfulness is not. There were no cats aboard the titanic. Even though a cat aboard a ship is considered good luck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing! It is about a bellboy that makes friends with a countess. But when the countess dies, he has to take care of her cat. Only he is not alowed to have a cat. One day he meets a girl and they get on the Titanic together. When theTitanic sinks, Casper is the only known cat to survive. This book is fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can you rp my kit swiftkit, jaykit, or scarletkit at darkclan?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The titanic part is scary and sad. Kind of sad ending. I reccomend it for all ages. AWSOME!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the sample it was boring so far <3 sevan super girls
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book its definetly worth the money i hope u get and like this book its not very sad if thats what you think because of "titanic" like if u agree or thought it was helpful oh and i would give it one million stars if i could
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does anyone know what this book is about? I am titanic nerd and it doesn't say much for description.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How much is it?