Da Vinci's Cat. Catherine Gilbert Murdock. 2021. [May] 278 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: Federico leaped to his feet, reaching for his knife though he was still half asleep.
Premise/plot: Da Vinci's Cat asks a great what-if question: What if Leonardo Da Vinci created a time travel machine (disguised as a wardrobe)? Federico, our hero, notices the strange, mysterious wardrobe when a KITTEN enters in and comes out a full-grown cat. But that's only the start. What comes out next is a man--Herbert--from NEW JERSEY (c. 1928? 1929?)
In exchange for CHOCOLATE AND PEANUTS, Federico is more than happy to provide Herbert Bother with drafts and sketches from Michelangelo and Raphael. (I am 100% sure on Raphael....less so on Michelangelo. But Federico knows them both, gets along with both). These works could be the potential fortune for Herbert Bother...and his family.
But this story isn't just set in the past--circa 1511--it's set in modern times too. Bee (aka Beatrice) is an eleven year old girl just settling into her new home with her two moms (Mom and Moo). The neighbor, an old woman, is STRANGE, STRANGE, SUPER-STRANGE. She has a sketch she claims by Raphael that is the VERY IMAGE of Beatrice. She claims that Beatrice can fix everything....
But can Bee fix something she doesn't know is broken? Could her stumbling into the wardrobe make things better or worse???
The cat JUNO appears in all story lines--Bee, Herbert, and Federico all claim the cat.
My thoughts: I enjoy books with elements of time travel. Though I don't know if this is time travel or time slipping? I much preferred the past story line. I was just settling in with Federico and Herbert when the book switched to Bee. Once Bee visited the past, well, it lost some of its charm. (I couldn't really get behind the whole "Fred" thing.) Still it stayed fun. I never once though of quitting. (Which may seem an odd thing to bring up, but I've read some one star books lately.)
I loved the cat. I almost, almost wished we got the cat's perspective!
© 2021 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews