Friday, April 07, 2006

Booktalk Friday: Jenny and the Cat Club

Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny Linsky, by Esther Averill

Jenny Linsky is a little black cat adopted by a sea-master named Captain Tinker in the New York City neighborhood of Greenwich Village. Jenny is a shy cat, which is why the sea-captain knitted a red scarf for her. What Jenny longs for more than anything is to join the Cat Club. However, to join the Cat Club, you have to be able to do something. For example, the fluffy Persian cat, Madame Butterfly, can play the nose-flute. Sinbad and the Duke are rough, tough fighters of the city streets. Romulus and Remus, the twin spotted cats, are adept at catching fish from the local fish-market. Solomon the cat is a studious reader. But what can Jenny do? In despair, she hides from the cats with whom she most desires to be friends, and it is not until winter, when Captain Tinker floods the garden to make a pond for children to skate upon, that Jenny finally musters the courage to discover her special talent.

In these five stories about Jenny Linsky and her friends, the shy cat finds that bravery comes in different forms. Sometimes, she have to run through the streets filled with aggressive dogs in order to deliver important messages, while other times, courage involves unselfishness to others. In all instances, Jenny comes through in funny and surprising ways.

Two of my other favorite books about Jenny Linsky are Jenny's Moonlight Adventure
The School for Cats
These books about Jenny Linsky and her friends have long been out of print,* but thanks to the New York Review Children’s Collection, they have been republished in attractive, sturdy hardbound volumes. They are a bit pricey, and unlikely to come out in paperback, but I am slowly gathering the books I love, bit by bit.

*The one exception has been the I Can Read chapter-book about Pickles, The Fire Cat. While Jenny and friends aren't mentioned by name in the book, you will see pictures of them riding in Pickles' fire-truck.

P.S. Jenny's Bedside Book is out of print and very expensive on the online booksite listings. If you see it somewhere for a ridiculously low price, please let me know.


Orkboi said...

will you write me a story? Your word is Froschmausekrieg.


Melangell said...

I LOVE Jenny Linsky!! Read it, read it, read it! (Read them, read them, read them!)
BTW, "Froschmausekrieg" sounds like a suspiciously violent encounter between a frog and a mouse. Sigh.