Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Marie-Louise Gay
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Groundwood Books, 2005   ISBN: 0888996675

Caramba is a cat, and like all the other cats, he has “soft fur and a long, stripy tail.” He likes to eat fish, and he purrs when he is content. However, there is one thing that Caramba cannot do. He cannot fly.
Unlike all the other cats in his world, Caramba cannot fly, and this worries him a great deal. He discusses his situation with his friend Portia, who is a little pink pig. Though he tells Portia that he doesn’t want to try to fly, in secret Caramba does try. Again and again he tries and tries to fly, but it never works. Eventually, Caramba gives up.

Caramba’s cousins, Bijou and Bug, cannot believe that Caramba cannot fly. “Every cat knows how to fly,” they say, and they laugh at poor Caramba, who can do so many things – except fly. Then Bijou and Bug decide that they will give Caramba a flying lesson. Little do they know that their lesson will reveal that Caramba has a hidden talent.

This delightful book is a tribute to all those people (and cats) who are not like everyone else. It is not easy being different, and at times it can be a big trial, but at the same time, being different can have its rewards.

With her signature watercolor, pastel, and pencil illustrations, Marie-Louise Gay gives her readers a story that is memorable and heart-warming.