‘The Stone Cat’ by Marion Perkins

This is a story for children from the ages of nine years upwards. It is necessary for the children to have a well developed attention span and some knowledge of language and science. It is the story of a little girl called Lottie who begins to converse with a statue of a stone cat and one day she is convinced the cat replied. The book tracks the unfolding adventures.

The key to this story is that the family consider Lottie to be less able and certainly not an academic compared with her brother whom she falls out with during this account. She then has to find a way to make up in order for peace to be restored.

There are photo-style pictures as well as those from a bygone era. There is the moon cycle and Latin terminology and a host of named plant and flowers.

I think the author had good intentions, but it does feel a bit like a scrap book of ideas and pictures including some scientific information. The photos and pictures of the locality do not meld well. I found that I was skipping from a 1950s style to sharp focus pictures of flora and fauna. This book was, sadly, a disappointment for me. I wanted so much to like it but I think it failed to hit the mark because it couldn’t settle between being an atmospheric period account and a slick up-to-date source of bite-size pieces of information. The story did not manage to hold my attention either, but then I am no longer nine years old! I would use the book, but mainly for the pictures rather than the content.

Perkins, Marion (2009) The Stone Cat

Book Guild Publishing

ISBN : 978 1 84624 3073

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