Whittington – the storytelling cat spins a historical yarn

WhittingtonWhittington by Alan Armstrong

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked Whittington and my kids did as well. It was a bit of a surprise. I got the book from the local used bookstore, pretty much just because of the cat on the cover. That was about the extent of it, though I did notice award.

We did not know what to expect and found the story to be compelling and earnest. There is a group of animals, a hodgepodge, who live in a barn behind a Texaco filling station. It’s rural America back east somewhere.

The story goes that Whittington arrives and finds a purpose in being a mouser…and especially in being a raconteur. He spins a story about his namesake and famous history.

This means that there is a story within the story. The ancestral Whittington is a human, a real person who made quite a name for himself in London back in the early days of England’s sea-voyaging and colonial expansion. He had a special cat.

This ancient story was interesting to my kids. They had heard about Marco Polo, so we talked about him (and I thought about reading his book to them in the near future).

There is also a story about a boy overcoming his reading difficulties. This works in the context of the book. My boys got it…that reading takes some effort and practice and I told them about dyslexia and other language processing issues.

I would recommend Whittington. It’s a good story and the writing is compelling.

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