Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Title: When The Cat’s Away
Author: Donna Gibbs
Illustrator: Lionel King
Publisher: Moshpit Publishing
Ages: 4-8 


When The Cat's Away, a picture book for young children, is set in Paris. A family of mice move into their new home beneath the CafE des Chats. Gussie and her twin brother, Pierre, are keen to explore their new surroundings. It is not long before Pierre's nose for adventure puts his life at risk and takes them far away. It takes some luck and all of Gussie's bravery and ingenuity to stage his rescue. Their triumphant journey through the streets of Paris back to their home almost comes unstuck. And then at the very last minute they realise they have another problem - the resident cat is not quite as far away as they had hoped! 

What I Think About It:

I was given a copy of this children’s book in exchange for my honest review.

I grew up devouring picture books…ones read to me until I could read them on my own. Then I dove into the written word and beauty of the illustrations to help take me on an adventure of the spirit.

Children’s author Donna Gibbs has published more than 35 books which is a testament to her devotion to children's book. Lionel King’s illustrations support the plot and the concept of two mice, new to Paris, going on a grand adventure is a good one.

Unfortunately, I felt the execution of the story line hit some bumps along the way. Today’s picture books should be full of the art of “showing”, while I found When The Cat’s Away is heavier on the “telling”. I was also a bit confused how easily Pierre and Gussie were able to find their way home when earlier in the story we discover they’ve just recently moved into their new home which implies the two main characters would not be familiar with their surroundings. Especially if viewed from a mouse's eye on top of a van speeding away from their doorstep.

Despite my struggle with the execution and flow of the story itself, I feel there is still an audience of young readers out there who might find this particular  picture book a delightful read.

Like-O-Meter Rating:   3 out of 5...take it or leave it.

**Rating scale**

 5 out of 5...grab it!
 4 out of 5...think about it.
 3 out of 5...take it or leave it.
 2 out of 5...maybe not for you.
 1 out of 5...forget about it!


ARE YOU THE MISSING PIECE? is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, and other fine retailers. It was a #1 bestseller in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US earlier this month.


International best selling author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt Taekwondo Instructor by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host and book reviewer for Harper Collins, She is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and Children's Book Insider. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, time at the beach, and well written stories.

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