The Cats of Butterwick Sands
Written by Gabriella Thomas
The Cats of Butterwick Sands is a delightful novel that is perfect for anyone who loves cats. Set in a small seaside community in Britain, the story is written by Gabriella Thomas.
The cats in this community either have homes with their humans, or they are strays who live in the old caravan park or the old fairground. All stray cats in Britain know that they are welcome in Butterwick Sands. All they have to do it make their way there and they will have a home for life. Each of the shops in town has a cat, and some of them have dogs. There is a pair of donkeys, Blossom and Burt, who live behind the local pub. The local seagulls, Gunther and his pals, make things exciting by swooping at the cats or making messes.
Every cat we are introduced to is unique in their own way. There is Lala, the cat who used to live in a mansion, but was booted out when her mistress passed away. There is Hamish, the Scottish fold cat, who lives in the chip shop and eats lots of fish. Another cat is Hester, who lives in Bloom’s general store. She spends most of her time sleeping on a high shelf in the store, and all the other cats wonder how she can climb up there because she’s very old and walks very slowly.
There are many interesting characters in the novel. Each cat has a story and they all intertwine. Some of the cats are related to each other. For example, Ernie, the train station cat, goes on a trip by bus and train to visit his father, Fergus, who lives with Old Mags in the caravan park. The humans all know of the cats and let them go about their business with no interference.
The cats get along well with each other, except for Gripper and his gang, who like to make trouble. Otherwise, they cooperate and work together. They all team up to find a lost kitten early in the book. Later, the cats save a man’s life by keeping him warm after he falls in snow and is injured. He is grateful and changes his ways. He used to hate cats, but now he loves them.
Then, a man comes to town who wants to make changes. The humans and the cats must decide if they want these changes or if they want a developer to take over the land of the old fairground and caravan park.
This is a very sweet story and would make a great book to read to children at bedtime. The cats have personalities, just as any cat owner will tell you. They demonstrate good skills by getting along, helping each other, looking out for strays and assisting them, and helping their humans. They may have differences, but they learn to overcome them. The other animals also work with the cats, including the donkeys, dogs, chickens, a fox, and the seagulls. One message of the book is that we might all be different, but we can get along and help each other out. I think this would be an appropriate story for any age, but that children will particularly like it. The main storyline involves the whole town and the big changes, so there are lessons about decision-making and communities and neighbors pulling together. It’s overall a very positive and uplifting story. There is no violence in the book, apart from a man falling and hitting his head. That’s the scariest thing that happens, so it’s completely appropriate as a children’s book.
I enjoyed this novel heartily. I have cats myself and can tell you that cats definitely are independent and each has a unique personality, just as do the cats in this book. Cat lovers may recognize some of their feline friends in here. The illustrations are well done and depict certain scenes in the book. The cats are accurately drawn. The end is very uplifting and I hope that there will be a sequel. Over the course of the book, I became intrigued with all the charming cat characters. Any one of them could be the subject of another novel. So, my hope is that the author continues the story in some way. Perhaps showing us what happens in the future of Butterwick Sands, or even taking one of the cats on a journey and introducing the reader to a new community. I enjoyed this book immensely and I highly recommend it. Cat lovers, you simply have to read this book! You will not be disappointed. I give it five paws.
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