The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof by Annie M.G. Schmidt [Review] Release: Jan 19 2016

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An act of kindness brings shy reporter Mr. Tibble into contact with the unusual Miss Minou. Tibble is close to losing his job because he only writes stories about cats. Fortunately, Minou provides him with real news. She gets the juicy inside information from her local feline friends, who are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. Tibble is appreciative, but he wonders how she does it. He has noticed that Minou is terrified of dogs and can climb trees and rooftops with elegance and ease. . . . It’s almost as if she’s a cat herself. But how can that be?

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First Impression

Not gonna lie here, one of the main reasons why I even requested this book from Net Galley was because of the adorable cover. I’M SHALLOW I KNOW. But it’s so pretty and adorable so how can you fault me???

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I also didn’t realise at the time that it was a translation! Which is awesome because I always enjoy a good translation. So much effort if put into translating books that I only wish I was able to read all languages so I could read their originals to compare.

Getting to the Meat of the Book

The female lead, Minou, looks a bit like a friend of mine in my head. Her name is Vhairi and I’m sure she won’t mind if I share this photo of her to illustrate what I mean:

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She can often be quite feline in her body language without realising. She’s also super animated when she talks and dang hilarious. So I think that’s where the similarities end. SOZ MINOU. Minou is a lot more skittish and reserved than my friend here. Won’t stop me from picturing my dear Vaz as her though.

Tibble, the main character and journalist, sounds like such a Good Egg of a guy. He’s a good person for kids to read about. He’s a bit sensitive and a little scared and shy and really likes cats. Some character traits that unfortunately elementary or middle school kids might associate with being ‘weak’ or ‘overtly feminine’. Which as we all know is utter BS.

Also I adore how each cat that is written about in the book has their own distinct character and personality. Like I could picture what they would sound like with a human voice and how they would move and behave. For example I imagined the tabby junkyard cat to sound like Catherine Tate or Kathy Griffin!!!

I’m also 100% certain that all kids would be into the idea of being able to turn into a cat or meeting a cat that was turned into a human. I mean I know I’ve thought about it myself. My sense of direction is actually the worst and I can get lost in a paper bag, so I wouldn’t mind having a feline ability to be able to always find home. Also the whole being able to go nearly anywhere and have amazing balance to boot would be awesome.

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I loved how well meaning and good hearted Minou is!! I’m glad she’s written as such a lovely person, it’s important for kids to know that not all adults are grumpy and mean or boring. And on the flip-side, I love that their little kid accomplice, Bibi, is a sneaky witty girl. That’s also something that I think is good for kids to read about. GO FORTH AND MAKE MISCHIEF KIDS. The older you get the harder it gets to get away with being a cute lil’ shit. Trust me when I say I’ve tried.

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Can I just take a moment to appreciate how COOL it is that Tibble is able to find out tips from the cats to help him write his top notch stories???? Man I’d love to have cats help me photograph stories. It’d be really cool to have a cat be like,

“Oh hey Tamara, there’s this old lady that feeds me fish a couple of blocks away. She’s kinda lonely but she has had such an interesting life and her home has a lot of exciting things to climb. You should pay her a visit.”

This book is just entirely #CAT JOURNALISM GOALS. Which I am totally here for. Also to be covered in kittens. That is also a Goal.

“He was so angry… He stopped being scared. He learned to dare.”

This line is so great, so great for kids. I love how it’s basically saying, if you really care about something, or you really wanna do something, you will forget how scared you are and put aside your fears to do the right or important thing. Which is always a good thing to remind kids about.

“The bliss of licking yourself with one paw up in the air… And then gnawing between your toes. The pure bliss of having claws you can retract or put out, which ever you choose. And spending ages scratching and scratching away at the leg of a brand new chair.” 

If this quote won’t make you daydream about actually being a cat then I don’t know what will. It sounds like the most pleasing thing ever. Like when you finally scratch an itch or when you get your hair washed at the salon and the person does the scritchy-scratchy motions and the spider hand or claw hand movements on your scalp.

After Thoughts

Overall I thought this was such an adorable book and I’m glad I read it!! It had a really cute ending that wasn’t too weird, as it possibly could get with a human turned cat and a human. I’ve seen more than I’d like to on the internet so if you’re not catching my drift, then don’t worry about it…

ANYWAY, I think this kind of book is great for literally anyone who is obsessed with cats and just wants something cute and short to read. Or even for someone who has a little sibling or cousin or nibling that they’d like to spend some time with. You guys could read it together if they’re very little, or decide to read it together in parts like a book club thing!

I just adored this book, super cute and all about cats and a great female lead. My only problem was that I had no little kid to enjoy it with!! I’d love to hear like a 6 year old tell me what they felt about the book. ♥


💰Buy it from:

💸 Book Depository
💸 Amazon UK / USA

“Even now I'm not really sure which parts of myself are real and which parts are things I've gotten from books.” - [Beatrice Sparks] Go Ask Alice 🍃☕

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