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Kaspar the Titanic Cat Hardcover – March 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062006185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062006189
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Young readers stricken with Titanic fever will be more than happy to have yet another timely...take on the sinking.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

About the Author

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best-loved children’s book writers. He has written more than one hundred books and has won the Smarties Book Prize, the Whitbread Award, and the Blue Peter Book Award for Private Peaceful. Michael was writer-in-residence at the Savoy Hotel from January to April 2007, and previously he was Great Britain’s Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005, a role that took him across the country to inspire a love of reading in children.

Michael Foreman grew up in a small English fishing village and has loved the sea ever since. He has illustrated more than one hundred children’s books, and he has won the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Prize, and the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ Red House Children’s Book Award. He has collaborated with Michael Morpurgo on several successful books, including The Amazing Story Of Adolphus Tips and Billy the Kid.


More About the Author

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain's best-loved children's book writers. He has written more than 100 books and has won the Smarties Prize, the Whitbread Award, and most recently the Blue Peter Book Award for PRIVATE PEACEFUL. He is also the author of WAR HORSE, which has been made into a Tony Award-winning Broadway play and a Golden Globe-nominated film. Michael was Writer in Residence at The Savoy Hotel from January to March 2007, and previously he was Children's Laureate from 2003-2005, a role that took him across Britain to inspire a love of reading in children. You can visit him online at www.michaelmorpurgo.com.

Customer Reviews

My nine-year old daughter loved this book.
Lisa Whelan
Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic helped them really get into the book.
Michael W. Penn
This is a kids book, but even reading it as an adult I liked it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Penn on April 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a librarian at a K-3 school and I read Kaspar to all the 2nd and 3rd grade classes. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic helped them really get into the book. In all 12 classes at the end there was applause. It took 5 weeks to do the book but, since it was by the writer of War Horse and The Pied Piper of Hamlin they were anticipating nothing but the best story and they got it. A great book for juveniles.Amazon has an amazing selection.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. E. Blinn on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a heart-warming piece of historical fiction narrated by Johnny Trot, a fourteen-year -old orphan, living and working as a bellhop at London's Savoy Hotel. Kaspar comes into the tale on the arm of Countess Kadinsky and through an unfortunate circumstance becomes Johnny's charge. Lizziebeth, the strong headed little daughter of a wealthy American couple, eventually leads this fast-paced tale to the Titanic.

The title is a bit deceptive, used probably to play upon the anniversary of the event. Kaspar is not the center of the story, and more than half of the novel passes before anyone sets a foot upon the fated ship. Even so, an accurate feel for time and place, delightful drawings, and some adult themes handled with appropriate care make this the purr-fect bedtime book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Gilbert VINE VOICE on November 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My family toured "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition" at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI this past summer. We exited the exhibit through the gift shop which had a shelf of Titanic-themed books for the young reader including this fine work by Michael Morpurgo.

Morpurgo builds his story with exquisite care - the iceberg crash doesn't even happen until page 132 of the 199-paged story. Each character is vividly drawn and the land-based story is richly detailed and compelling. The author completely succeeds in putting the reader in the moment-to-moment life of our main and supporting cast - which includes the title character of the black cat named Kaspar - that we, like our subjects, aren't anticipating a disaster.

And Morpurgo captures this look-and-feel of early 20th-century life - the manners and customs and the class lines that guide everyday interactions - through the eyes a 14-year old London orphan turned hotel bellboy, Johnny Trott.

A lot of themes are gently explored in this book: class lines and divisions; Old Europe vs. the New World called America; family and identity; honor vs. duty and reality vs. dreams. All these ideas are presented through the innocent and wondering eyes of Trott, whose journey takes him from the London streets and back stairs of the Savoy Hotel to the bowels of the Titanic as a stowaway. He emerges both as a survivor and a triumphant citizen of his new world order.

This is a thoughtful, well-researched, well-paced adventure story for the ages 8-12 reader.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: I've read and enjoyed the author before plus I am a Titanic fan.

This is an entirely fictional story about three things, two of them rooted in actual fact. First and foremost it is the story of fourteen year old Johnny Trott, orphan, currently working as bell boy at the Savoy Hotel, secondly it is a story of how the famous sculpture of the Savoy Hotel cat may have come to be and thirdly, it is an account of the sinking of the Titanic.

An important guest at the hotel befriends Johnny and instructs him to watch over her cat, Kaspar, while she is away from her rooms. Misfortune befalls her and Johnny keeps the cat as his own. Then another family comes to stay and he befriends the impish daughter of a wealthy couple. Here we deal with different types of friendship and love that Johnny has never experienced in his life before and this is the basic theme of the book. To add some adventure, the family is fated to sail home to New York on the "unsinkable" ship, the Titanic. Both Johnny and Kaspar end up on board but I won't tell you how or why but this eventually leads to the sculpture of the Kaspar cat being presented to the Savoy.

A fun story that will appeal to both boys and girls. It is an easy-going book with the first half dedicated to Johnny and his relationships, much more character driven than anything else. I enjoyed this half the best. The second half picks up the pace and adds escapades and finally an account of the Titanic's sinking that is quite realistic. The author ends with a Post Script telling the reader how, as a writer, he pulled the real elements from life and created his fictional story from them.

Final word on the illustrations, Michael Foreman is a prolific illustrator and one of the best England has to offer. This book is no exception; it is profusely illustrated, in colour, and it was a delight to read a chapter book in colour for a change.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Jonsson VINE VOICE on August 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kaspar the Titanic cat is a fictional tale, however, one can be assured that the events the cat finds himself in-the sinking of the Titanic-is very real. Kaspar is the pet of Countess Kandinsky, an opera singer and resident of the Savoy Hotel in London, England. He does not like many people, but he takes a shine to Johnny Trott, an orphaned bellboy who lives and works at the Savoy. The Countess dies tragically, and her pet cat Kaspar mourns so severely that he stops eating. Enter Lizziebeth, an heiress from a wealthy American family, who has a self-described way with animals, and helps Kaspar eat and recover from losing his pet owner. Lizziebeth and Johnny form a close friendship, and Johnny ends up saving Lizziebeth from a tragic accident. Lizziebeth and her parents decide to go back to America-and Johnny decides to stow away to America on the incredible new ship, the Titanic. An epic tragedy occurs with the Titanic(those of us who are Titanic buffs know what that is)-and Kaspar becomes the only cat to survive the Titanic sinking-by Johnny's heroic efforts involved in rescuing him. Johnny is then adopted by the family, grows up-and then, as young adults, Lizziebeth and Johnny return with her parents to the Savoy Hotel in London. But Kaspar's adventure is not over yet....

My 9 year old and 11 year old son loved this book, as I read it to them over the summer holiday. Another reviewer pointed this book out as being excellent for out loud reading and it is. You get carried away with the adventures the characters are having. I hate to say it, I had never heard of Michael Morpurgo before-now that I know he wrote the book that the movie "War Horse" was based on, which my kids also enjoyed, I will be getting more of his books.
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