#965 – Catlantis by Anna Starobinets, translated by Jane Bugaeva

catlantiscover Catlantis
Written by Anna Starobinets
Translated by Jane Bugaeva
Illustrated by Andrzej Klimowski
The New York Review Children’s Collection  9/13/2016
136 pages     Ages 8—12

“Baguette, a seemingly ordinary house cat, is a descendant of the magic Catlanteans who lived long ago in peace and happiness on the island of Catlantis. When he falls in love with the seductive alley cat Purriana, she insists Baguette accomplish a heroic feat before she’ll agree to marriage.

“They pay a visit to the oracle, Purriana’s great-great-grandmother, who reveals to the surprised Baguette the secret of his bloodline and the special inheritance of all ginger descendants of the Catlanteans: the ability to time travel. She relates the cat-astrophe that befell Baguette’s ancestors when Catlantis was struck by storms and sank to the bottom of the Catlantic Ocean.

“Now Baguette must travel into the past in order to bring back the Catlantic flowers that will grant every cat nine lives. All the cats of the world have been awaiting his deed, but can Baguette, a lovesick tabby, fulfill the prophecy?” [back cover]

Baguette, a cat who lives on the twelfth floor, likes to sit in the window and bird watch. He is in love with Purriana, an alley cat whose great-great-grandmother is a blind oracle. Noir, a nasty black stray, is also in love with Purriana, but she is not interested in the stray who roams the dumpsters. Baguette wishes to marry Purriana, but she expects him to perform a heroic feat before she will agree. Purriana takes Baguette to visit the oracle, who claims Baguette is the last hope for cats, ginger cats in particular.
catlantis-p-6Bagueete must travel back in time to collect a Catlantis flower, which has special powers: any cat who smells the flower gains nine lives. Without this flower, ginger cats will lose the ability to time travel and all striped cats, such as Purriana, must marry a black cat, sending striped cats to extinction. Because of this last stipulation, Noir calls up help. He plans to collect the flower from Baguette once he returns. Then he shall marry Purriana.

Will Baguette be able to travel back to Catlantis Island, retrieve a magical flower he has no idea what it looks like, and return it back in time to save cats the world over?

Catlantis is a well-written, evenly paced fantasy lovers of magic, specifically cat magic, will love. Baguette is easy to like. He is the purrfect protagonist. He has doubts, as we should; Baguette is a lazy tabby interested in bird watching. But once he falls in love with Purriana, his willpower increases, as does his desire to bring nine lives back to modern cats.
catlantis4Noir, is a black stray of ill intent. He is a bad cat, evil to the bone, but one with his own magic, which he uses in his attempt to defeat Baguette. Who, or what, he brings on board will seem odd but turns out to be the best “object” a black cat could create out of the dumpster’s garbage. His creation could foil the greedy cat if Noir fails to create it in his own evil image.

Baguette’s other foes are the island of Catlantis, now somewhere under the Catlantic Ocean, and the unknown flower with magical powers of its own. Kids will love the varying lengths and obstacles Baguette encounters trying to bring back the magical flower. In addition to explaining nine lives, kids will get an idea of catnip and its power over felines.
catlantis-p-70Catlantis is an intriguing story. Kids who like animals, especially cats, will like Catlantis. The story is as satisfying today as it was when originally written. There is a bit of fantasy with time travel, a bit of romance between Baguette and Purriana, and a lot of mystery in the cat world past and present. Kids will love all aspects of this interesting, purrfectly satisfying, catastic story.

CATLANTIS. Text copyright © 2016 by Anna Starobinets. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Andrzej Klimowski. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, The New York Review Children’s Collection, New York, NY.

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Find Catlantis on Goodreads HERE.

Anna Starobinets:  http://www.nyrb.com/collections/anna-starobinets

Jane Bugaeva:  http://www.nyrb.com/collections/jane-bugaeva

Andrzej Klimowski:  http://www.nyrb.com/collections/andrzej-klimowski

The New York Review Children’s Collection:  http://bit.ly/NYRBChildrens
Follow on Twitter               @nyrb

Reprinted with permission from CATLANTIS © 2016 by Anna Starobinets, The New York Review Children’s Collection, Illustrations © 2016 by Andrzej Klimowski.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Written by Anna Starobinets
Translated by Jane Bugaeva
Illustrated by Andrzej Klimowski
The New York Review Children’s Collection 9/13/2016


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