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Blog Tour: The Cat Who Came in off the Roof, by Annie M.G Schmidt, translated by David Colmer.

Blog Tour: The Cat Who Came in off the Roof, by Annie M.G Schmidt, translated by David Colmer.
The Cat Who Came in off the Roof by Annie M G Schmidt
Published by Pushkin Children's Books on 14 July 2014
Pages: 160
Format: ARC
Tibble is a reporter. He only ever writes about cats, and he's about to be fired.

Minou is a young woman who has moved into Tibble's flat. She hates dogs, likes rooftops, loves the fishmonger, and happens to have been, until very recently, a cat.

With her feline friends listening out for all the local human news, is Minou the answer to all Tibble's problems-or just the beginning of them?

A hilarious, charming story of cats, dogs, and learning to dare.

'Annie is not a writer, she's a miracle!'Guus Kiijer

'Books of this quality are a rare thing'NRC Handelsblad


Book Walrus was thrilled to be invited to begin the Blog Tour for Annie M G Schmidt’s wonderful book. Junior Walrus Jodie, aged 11, is a huge fan. So here she is to tell us why she thinks it’s such a great book:

I loved this book because it is funny and sweet and not like usual books! Here are five things that made me want to read it even before I opened it.

  1. The title is bold and big and bright and colourful and caught my attention
  2. The picture on the front is really cool
  3. It is a perfect length (not too long not too short) which means I can read it quickly enough to remember what’s happening but not so fast that I am finished too soon.
  4. The blurb made me want to read it. My favorite line on it was “catty is not the right word, it’s called cattish.”
  5. It’s about a cat and I love cats.

And the book was just as good as I hoped. I loved how Minou was a cat who had transformed into a lady because it gives us the view of what a cat is, in a human’s form. Annie M. G. Schmidt is very clever at showing what makes cats different from humans by showing a human doing these things and having people (and cats) think that is a bit weird. The way Minou does both human things and cat things works really well because it means she can talk to cats to find out news for Mr Tibble and she can also talk to humans. She has human traits and catty traits – or, as she corrects Tibble, ‘cattish traits’.

I loved how Minou slept in a box and she could climb on the roof and up trees. I wanted everything to work out in the end for Minou and Mr Tibble because they were both very nice and I would like to meet them.

Overall I thought this book was awesome, interesting, exhilarating, fun and it make me think harder about what cats are like! I am very grateful to Annie M.G. Schmidt for writing this book and I wish she was still here to write lots more. She deserves all the awards she won and I really want to see the film version of the book and to read some more of her books (as long as they are also translated into English! I might not enjoy them so much if they are not!!).


Top ten facts about Annie M. G. Schmidt (provided by the translator, David Colmer)

1. Born 20 May 1911 in Zeeland.

2. Although she would become one of the greatest Dutch writers, she got an F for Dutch at school.

3. She didn’t see her first electric lightbulb until she was ten years old.

4. While training as a librarian she had to read stories to rambunctious working-class children in Amsterdam. That’s how she learnt what kind of stories children like.

5. She started writing at 36 when the newspaper she was working for discovered her ability to write comic verse for children.

6. The “Jip and Janneke” stories she produced with illustrator Fiep Westendorp in the 1950s have sold millions of copies and are still best-sellers in the Netherlands today. You see the characteristic silhouette illustrations everywhere in the Netherlands.

7. She also wrote poetry and songs for adults. In the 1960s the fabulous TV musical she wrote with composer Harry Bannink, “Yes, sister. No, sister” was so popular, the streets were deserted when it was on.

8. Almost everyone in the Netherlands can quote or sing one of her songs or poems.

9. In 1988 Astrid Lindgren presented her with the Hans Christian Andersen prize, saying, “Annie, where have you been all my life.”

10. Annie M. G. Schmidt died in Amsterdam on 21 May 1995 at the age of 84.


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