“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday


BOOK  TitanicatWritten by: Marty Crisp

Illustrated by: Robert Papp

Published by: Sleeping Bear Press 2008

Ages:   6 and up

Theme: Instinct, superstition, heart

Opening Lines: Every time Jim glanced to the side, there was the cat, flashing the tip of her tortoiseshell tail at him, all the way to the shipyard. Some claimed a tortoiseshell cat could see the future. Jim, himself, believed only that cats were lucky. His Da worked in the Belfast shipyard, so Jim knew all the lore about ships and their cats.

Synopsis: from Amazon – Young Jim Mulholland can’t believe his good luck: He has signed on as a cabin boy to the world’s finest ocean liner, the Titanic, and can’t wait for the history-making voyage across the sea to America. As part of his duties Jim is in charge of the ship’s cat, a beautiful tortoiseshell that also appears happy to be on board. He calls the cat by the ship’s construction number, 4-0-1, certain that she will bring him good luck. And he’s delighted when 4-0-1 shortly gives birth to a litter of kittens. But once the ship’s trial runs are completed and it’s ready to launch to sea, Jim notices that 4-0-1 is nowhere to be found. He’s got to find her-the Titanic can’t cast off without her lucky cat. Jim is faced with a decision that will affect the rest of his life

Why I like this: I am totally surprised this one isn’t on the PPBF list. With such a rich story and out-of-this-world gorgeous illustrations and captive title, made this a must read for me. We all know the story of the famous maiden voyage that ended in disaster for the luxurious ship known as the Titanic. It was April 15, 1912 when it sank and there have been many unsolved mysteries that sank with her. With its discovery at the bottom of the ocean, stories have appeared giving insight into how people came to be on the ship, how lives were depicted back then, superstitions, miracles, and more mysteries about what happened having come to light. This story is one of them… An opening page spread introduces us to the Titanic, over page the story begins as above. Kids will love this heartfelt story, its history, and educational use. In the authors’ note we learn that there was a young Irishman who looked after the ships cat during its training run, and then decided to leave taking the cat and her kittens just before the ship set sail. The illustrations by Robert are soft and delicate with bright hues giving such depth and realism, that I just wanted to pick up a kitten and cuddle it.

Resources/Findings: This book is educational in itself with the authors footnote and has added links she used in her research. An award-winning author she has also written White Star a book about a dog on the Titanic, also interviewing the families of the Titanic survivors.

A teachers aid:   http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Titanic-Titanicat-by-Marty-Crisp-1169504

A PDF printout for teachers : http://museumvictoria.com.au/pages/15649/titanic_us-kit_student-activities.pdf

And another:   http://www.theteachersguide.com/Titanic.html

Another teachers aid:   http://heatherpearmansequencedocuments.blogspot.co.nz/p/reading-lesson-plans.html


Marty’s website:   http://www.martycrisp.com/books.html

View some of Roberts’ beautiful artwork and go aww… like I did here… http://www.robertpapp.com/

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
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10 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. Wow! What a great story! Might be better if it was a lucky dog, but cats make for interesting tales. That Mr Papp sure has a way with kids and cats! Thanks for sharing!

    • Ha, well the author did write a story about the ships dog, and I haven’t read that one yet. That might be interesting too, since she does a lot of research with her stories. Isn’t Mr Papp’s illustrations to die-for? They are that gorgeous. Your welcome!

  2. I can’t believe that I haven’t run across this great story. Can’t wait to read it. Didn’t realize there was superstition around ships and cats. Great share!

    • Hi Pat, so glad you like this one. Yes I believe if there is a cat on board then it is a lucky voyage. A cat walking towards you is suppose to be lucky also. It was the fact the cat took all but her last kitten off the ship, that had Jim make a last minute decision. Enjoy!

  3. My grandfather missed sailing too! At least that’s what the old Irishman used to enjoy telling us! I will be looking for it. I appreciate when a book designer handles the type so well too!

  4. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Wow. Thanks for the introduction of this one. Now, to see if my library has it. You have me hooked!

  5. This sounds meaningful, and fun. 🙂

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