Lucia’s detailed illustrations are vivid and alive. Together with a deep colour palate, they set an ideal atmosphere for this story about friendship and courage.
It is obvious throughout this story, particularly on the closing page, that Nicholas and his cat share a mutual admiration for one another.
But one day, Nicholas’ cat stubbornly decides she wants to stay upon the roof. Nicholas worries about her being frightened, and tries hard to coax her down. But she only replies with a convincing “marl”.
Nicholas lies in bed all night worrying about his cat, and thinking of dark strange things, ghosts, monsters, creepy crawlies, and funny sounds. Sonya’s descriptive language takes readers to a place where they too begin to feel frightened and worried. Funnily enough though, none of these things seems to worry the stubborn cat.
It is only when it starts to rain that the cat becomes frightened. Nicholas forgets about the scary things and braves the rain to save his cat.
The final page shows the two friends snuggled in bed; The cat thinks about how brave Nicholas has been to save her, while Nicholas thinks how brave his cat has been to stay on the roof in the dark.
It’s quite amazing what you will do for the ones you love, and Sonya and Lucia have illustrated that beautifully.
Author: Sonya Hartnett
Illustrator: Lucia Mascuillo
Publisher: Viking Australia (Imprint of Penguin), August 2011
RRP: $24.95 (aud)
Suitable for ages: 5+
Awards: Shortlisted for the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Children’s Fiction and shortlisted for the 2012 CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year