August 2010, David Fickling Books
176 pages, Paperback
Magical cat ornaments, summer school, friendships - new and old, misunderstandings, parental pressure, team spirit, talent,
Summary from Random House Children's books
Maddy has always wanted a cat, but now she's got something even better - three small ceramic cats which come to life and give her magical powers!
Maddy can hardly wait to start classes at Summer Ballet School. And when Ollie comes to life again, everything is perfect! But of course they have a problem to solve… Maddy’s new friend Anna is scared to tell her mum that she doesn’t want to be a ballerina. Can Maddy's special cat magic help Anna stand up for her real hopes and dreams?
This is one of my cute and fluffy books (very low/no violence, and lots of tender moments). You can tell it's a sweet book from the sparkly pink cover. It's sweet that every page number is outlined in a heart.I love the style of the illustrations; they enhance certain parts of the story, they look softly drawn (as in not line drawn with a pen), and at the beginning of each chapter there's an object relating to what's within the chapter.
The story itself is really good. I haven't come across this series before - this one is book #6 - but that didn't matter. It was easy to pick up what happens to Maddy, how her cats can come alive. This seems to happen one at a time (only 1 in this book). There's realism to the cats coming alive - they act exactly like ordinary cats do, and they make Maddy worry about what will happen if someone sees them move. They are quick thinking and soon stay as still as a statue, but Maddy has to stumble over a few excuses to prevent anyone other than her best friend Rachel. Ollie, who comes alive in this story, is hilarious. The cat personalities are perfect (or should that be purrfect?), they only reveal specific information to Maddy, they won't give more than they have to. I like the concept that she is developing her own cat senses by being with the cats so much. It definitely helps her change the life of fellow student Anna who is reluctant to speak about her troubles to anyone.
What made me laugh in the story was that Maddy has to put up with another student, who thinks that Maddy is absolutely wonderful, follows her everywhere, wants to do everything with Maddy - and all poor Maddy wants to do is be with Rachel! It shows that summer school/boarding school can be tricky - there may not be a mean girl in Maddy's dorm, but there's definitely one providing her with a lot of headaches!
This is a fantastically cute series, focusing on the important of friendships, and how even new friends can make a difference to each other just be listening and exploring all avenues available to them.
I recommend reading other Pocket Cats books - more will be reviewed soon.