'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Review: Blueskin the Cat

Blueskin the bushranger has been caught and hanged. His immediate reincarnation as a cat leaves him wanting to extract revenge from the two brothers, John and Anthony, who were the instruments of his death, but things don’t go the way he plans. Every opportunity that presents itself for his revenge turns into a life-saving act instead. Anthony in particular sees him as a good omen, because Blueskin’s actions during his elopement with his beloved, Matilda, facilitated their escape.

John, Anthony, Matilda, and Blueskin, who has now become Matilda’s pet, set sail for America. Seasickness, and adapting to his new body and eating habits push thoughts of revenge aside temporarily for Blueskin.

Blueskin finds he easily accepts his new diet of crunchy mice and titbits offered by the sailors. John’s initial suspicion of Blueskin evaporates when, during an attack by pirates, the cat scratches out the eyes of the leading pirate, causing chaos and a retreat for the followers.

But the adventures don’t stop there. Escaping the pirates, the group and nineteen others survive after the ship is smashed by fierce storms. They end up in an unknown area inhabited by Washo Indians. Blueskin hears a voice call to him. He realizes that the Washo Medicine Man’s reincarnated spirit can talk to his, and this is the pivotal point of the cat’s life.

The conversations shared between cat and Medicine Man are life-changing. Blueskin is told about a mission he must complete; the reason he’s been brought to the Washo people. The Medicine Man speaks of another voice that Blueskin will hear call to him that won’t be ignored, for ‘revenge brought you here, but now you have changed’. 

This is the first book in a series of ten about Blueskin’s adventures. It is a thrilling tale, well told. The nine extraordinary watercolours by young artist Gabriela Sepulveda visually complement the text. Look out for the following tales which are aimed at readers aged 7-107. This book comes highly recommended by the reviewer.

Title: Blueskin the Cat
Author: Daniel Nanavati
Illustrator: Gabriela Sepulveda
Publisher: Footsteps Press UK, £14.99 RRP
Publication Date: June 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780956634931
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior Fiction

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