Friday, January 19, 2018

The Cat Who Came In Off The Roof

The Cat Who Came In Off the Roof. Annie M G Schmidt. Translated by David Colmer. 1970/2015. Random House. 160 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: "Tibble! Where's Tibble? Has anyone seen Tibble? The boss wants to talk to him. Where's he got to? Tibble!"

Premise/plot: Don't mistake Tibble for a cat; he's a very human reporter for a newspaper. If he can keep his job that is. Tibble's news stories don't qualify as "news" according to his boss. But his reporting takes a turn for the better after he befriends a young woman, Miss Minou. He first sees her up a tree. Up a tree?! Yes, she'd been chased there by a mad dog. And that isn't the only odd thing about Minou. She also likes to climb in and out of windows, hang out with cats on the roof, and sleep curled up in a box. The premise of this one: Minou used to be a cat; now she's a human. She can still communicate with cats--hence why Tibble is suddenly good at his job. All the cats in town are talking to Minou about their humans, what they see and hear.

My thoughts: The Cat Who Came In Off the Roof is newly translated into English; it was originally published in Dutch in 1970. This is an odd little fantasy for children. But overall I liked it.

Tibbles meets Minou when she "came in off the roof" and into his window. If Minou were still a cat, it wouldn't be odd that he takes in a stray. He keeps her because she's super useful to him. Not that knowing her is without risk: Minou doesn't make a good impression on most people. For one thing, she rubs herself against people--literally. Tibbles keeps trying to train her to be more human and less cattish.

I think this would make a lovely cartoon special. 

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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