Monday, July 31, 2017

‘The Blue Cat of Castle Town’

Book, 'The Blue Cat of Castle Town' by Catherine Cate Coblentz. Image depicts a dark-blue cat with yellow eyes, against a light-blue background. Gray medallion on cover identifies the book as a Newbery Award Honor Book.
One of the consistent joys of my life is reading fantasy stories involving cats.

The Blue Cat of Castle Town is a delightful story by Catherine Cate Coblentz, illustrated by Janice Holland. Originally published in 1949 by the Countryman Press, it was released by Dover in 2017 as an unabridged reproduction.

Blue cats are born with a rare ability to learn the song of the river — and one such cat is born near a small town in Vermont, during the 19th Century.

The blue cat faces a unique challenge beyond those of ordinary cats. “Not only must the kitten who sings the river’s song find a hearth to fit that song, but he must teach the keeper of that hearth to sing the same song. ... For if the river’s song rise no longer from the hearthside, then it is said, the very days of the land itself are numbered.”

The Blue Cat of Castle Town tells of the blue kitten’s quest to find the right hearth where he can teach the occupant to sing the river’s song.

The very survival of Castle Town is at stake, where local artisans’ work has become corrupted by a lust for gold; artistry has been set aside in favor of cheap mass-production.

From start to finish, I loved this book, which can be enjoyed at many levels: enchanting fairy story and sophisticated fable about the value of creating enduring crafts by hand.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. If you like cat fantasy stories I'd highly recommend a children's novel (and sequel) of somewhat similar vintage (1955 and 1960 respectively): Carbonel the King of the Cats and The Kingdom of Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation; I've managed to locate these via my local library.


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