Thursday 22 October 2015

Review ~ Catlantis by Anna Starobinets

Pushkin Children's Books
October 22

I have often heard Jaffa's plaintive cry when the post pops through the letterbox, ...

"Oh, noes...not another kilted highlander story or a grisly murder set in the suburbs of New York. When is the cat book going to arrive, when is the proper story of a heroic cat, to rival the saintly Bagpuss, going to grace our bookshelves..."

And then .... thanks to the kind folk at Pushkin, and lovely Sophie at ED PR, there came the arrival of Catlantis ....and Jaffa rightly claimed it as his own.


So...what's it all about Jaffa...

Baguette is a pure ginger cat as orange as a carrot, who lives on the twelfth floor. He likes to lie in the window to watch his beloved Purriana on the street below. But in order to win the hand of the slender and striped Purriana, whose coat glistens like diamonds in the snow, Baguette must accomplish a heroic feat. He must find the magical, Catlantean white flower in order to save the nine lives of all cats before it is too late. This dangerous journey will take him beyond the ordinary and into the extraordinary world of Catlantis, there Baguette must meet with the beautiful and bold Catlanteans and learn the secrets of this ancient realm.

Told with impeccable style and littered with beautifully, simple but effective, line drawings, the story of Baguette's intrepid fearlessness combines myth, magic and legend. From beginning to end there is never a dull moment for Baguette,  who is a feisty, determined, and it must be said, very charismatic hero. He wears his coat, as orange as a carrot, with great panache and pride and his resolve to succeed knows no bounds.

Everything about the story just feels right, from the magnificence of Baguette on the front cover, to the orange as carrot endpapers.  The narrative is completely at ease with itself, it whirls and dances and the glorious poems which litter the text are like little pearls of wisdom, filling the story with a real sense of accomplishment.

If you like cats, if you like children, indeed if you like both cats and children, or even if you're a cat with a coat as orange as carrot, then you must add Catlantis to the top of your shopping list along with cheese dreamies and whiskas cat milk....

It's published today ..go buy ...

About the Author

Anna Starobinets is an acclaimed and award-winning Russian novelist, children’s author and journalist, whose dystopian and metaphysical novels have earned her the title of ‘the Russian Queen of Horror’. Catlantis is her second children’s book, and her first to be translated into English. Anna Starobinets lives in Moscow.

Translated by

Janet Bugaeva was born in Russia and emigrated with her family to the United States at the age of six. Although she grew up in the US she has forever remained a Russian child at heart and today translates children’s literature from the Russian. She lived in North Carolina with her husband and two cats.

About the Artist

Andrzej Klimowski studied at St Martin’s School of Art and the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. A graphic novel writer, he is also a designer of film and theatre posters, and numerous book covers, including the entire Everyman Collection of P.G.Wodehouse and several editions of books by Milan Kundera. His works can be found in museums around the world. He is Professor of Illustration at the RCA.


My thanks to Sophie GoodFellow at edpr and Puskin Children's Books

 for sending Jaffa this book to cherish



  1. Fab picture Jo, Jaffa looks very happy with his special book

    1. Thanks Jan - Jaffa is very protective of this one :)

  2. Thank God! I was starting to think I was the only one reading this little treasure.
    Loved it. Great review by the way!!

    1. Chouett Blog ~ Thanks for visiting. Glad you're enjoying Catlantis as much as Jaffa and I did ...come back and see us again soon !


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