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Catvinkle and the Missing Tulips by Elliot Perlman

Title: Catvinkle and the Missing Tulips

A blue border around a green rectangle. The top half has tulips, a white bandstand, and a red bird above a dark blue panel with the text Catvinkle and the Missing Tulips. The bottom half has a white cat with a red bow sitting on a dalmatian with a red collar.

Author: Elliot Perlman

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 29th September 2020

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 304

Price: $19.99

Synopsis: Award-winning novelist Elliot Perlman’s second book of Catvinkle’s adventures is another wise, wonderful and warm-hearted tale.

When best friends Catvinkle and Ula are asked to defend two sheep accused of eating Amsterdam’s tulips, they’re not sure what to believe. The sheep say they’re innocent, but they do look very sheepish.

To win this case, Catvinkle will need the help of a wolfhound, a llama, two travelling koalas, a pair of Russian bears . . . and a very special bird.

PRAISE FOR THE ADVENTURES OF CATVINKLE
‘An instant children’s classic’ Sunday Age
‘A gorgeous book guaranteed to give great joy’ Better Reading
‘Engaging and fun’ Children’s Books Daily

~*~

Catvinkle and Ula are back – and this time, Anja and Ferdi, the children who can understand them, have brought them a case – the case of the missing tulips! Anja and Ferdi are determined that their beloved sheep -Lambken and Shepsil, are innocent because tulips are bad for sheep. And Catvinkle is excited when Ketzington invites her to New York – but all this is turned on its head when Twinkiepaws, Catvinkle’s nemesis, plans to put the sheep on trial, and gets all the cats on her side. What is Catvinkle to do? Catvinkle, Ula, and  Lobbus, the great dog Lobbus have to set off on an adventure that will involve travelling koalas helping them get to Russia to find two Russian bears and a very special bird to solve the case and find out what really happened to  the tulips.

The second Catvinkle book is just as charming as the first, and Ula and Catvinkle are still firm friends, and are getting on much better. I loved the way they bonded over their shared love of Mr Sabatini and wanting to make him happy. They are best friends, and in their world, it is very unusual for cats and dogs to be best friends – in fact, it is very much not the thing for cats and dogs to get along in anyway, and both Catvinkle and Ula must contend with being friends and finding ways to ensure Kittens Anonymous and Puppies Anonymous don’t find out. They want to remain friends, and I loved that kind of loyalty, and their ability to move around the animal world of Amsterdam and speak with all kinds of animals is lovely, showing that Ula and Catvinkle are accepting of so many, which is delightful to see in this book.

When Catvinkle and Ula find out that Shepsil and Lambken are in danger of being sent away by Ferdi and Anja’s aunt, they resolve to find out what really happened, and prove that the sheep are innocent. Catvinkle is also determined to show Twinkiepaws that she is not right about everything, and I think this sends a powerful message to readers of this book – that just because someone like Twinkiepaws says something is true doesn’t necessarily mean it is, and that we shouldn’t judge people on appearances or preconceived assumptions, as many do with Shepsil and Lambken. And the bravery of Catvinkle – defending the sheep and including more than the cats in the trial is something that stands out, and I found this to be a really nice thread. It shows that stereotypes are not true for all, and that goes for all the animals in this book.

The danger was ramped up (only a little) when our intrepid Lobbus, the great dog Lobbus, Catvinkle and Ula encounter a threat when they go in search of two Russian bears (whose interactions with the human world reminded me a little of Paddington), so they can prove Twinkiepaws wrong. But will it be enough? Well, you’ll just have to read the whole book to find out. These delightful books allow animals and humans to interact, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s something that I think is really fun and effective and uses the imagination very cleverly as we explore the intricacies of animal interactions and the diversity of the animal world – one can hope that Ula and Catvinkle will eventually help dogs and cats to get along, because when they do in these books, it is fun.

I love these books – because I love cats and dogs, and I think they really would get on, not all the time, but hopefully most of the time. This book proves that cats and dogs can be friends, all they have to do is try like Catvinkle and Ula did. This book takes place just before another National Kitten Baby-Shoe Dancing competition – so it links back to the first book beautifully and I hope we have more adventures with these characters, because these books are fun and comforting. They’re also uplifting, so if you’re after a story that will make you feel good and be an escape from everything not so nice, then this is the series for you – well, one of them. It’s aimed at kids aged eight and older but I truly think it will be great for readers of all ages, as a read aloud or reading it to yourself. I loved it!

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