Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Marty Crisp
Illustrator:  Robert Papp 
Historical Fiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Sleeping Bear Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1585363551

Jim has signed on to be a cabin boy on the new ship, the Titanic. It is a huge vessel, a floating city with all the comforts that any person could want. Just before he goes on board Jim meets a cat and soon afterwards, he is given the job of being the cat's minder.

For a while, Jim cannot find the cat. Then we finds her in the Café Parisian and she is not alone – she has four little kittens.

For the next few weeks, Jim works hard, helping to get the ship spruced up and ready for her passengers. He keeps a close eye on the cat and her kittens, and on one occasion he even saves one of kittens when it gets dangerously close to the edge of the ship.

When the ship arrives in Southampton to pick up her passengers, the cat starts to carry her kittens ashore. Jim cannot understand it. Why is the cat abandoning her home? Could it be that she knows something that he does not?

In this interesting and beautifully illustrated picture book Marty Crisp draws on real written accounts to tell the story of a cat and boy who apparently did live on the Titanic before she made her fateful first, and last, voyage. In 1997, a memoir was published that was written by one of the stewardesses who was on board the Titanic on her famous journey. In her account, the stewardess mentions that a cat with kittens was seen on board the ship before the ship set sail for America. Everyone assumed that the cat when down with the ship. Then further information about the cat and her boy minder came to light and Marty Crisp tells their story in an engaging and very personal way.