Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Further Adventures of Carbonel, King of the Cats

As a child, I read everything I could get my hands on. I could read under a tree and not be a "house cat" (one of my parents fond phrases). Some books from my upper elementary and early junior high years have stayed in the back of my mind over time. As an adult, I occasionally come across the books and reread them. Sometimes the books are as wonderful as I thought, sometimes they seem a little simplistic and thin.

One of the books that I have looked for over time and which has recently been reissued as part of the New York Review Children's Collection is Carbonel, King of the Cats by Barbara Sleigh. This featured a talking cat who would be king, two children making their way through the city without adult supervision, and memorable rhyming spells, parts of which stuck in my head.

Carbonel was just as charming as I recalled. The characters were sweet, the cat imperiously demanding, and the rhymed spells lent an air of everyday magic to the story.

While I was updating my Avid Fantasy Readers list last week and adding Carbonel, I came across two other titles in the series and fleetingly thought I should try to track them down.

Amazing! This morning I had an email from Amazon that the other two books were being reissued. Instant ordering glory! The "Kingdom of Carbonel" and "Carbonel and Calidor" will soon be mine. I always wondered what happened to that brilliant black cat once he had reclaimed his throne from the silly imposter who was holding sway over the fence and roof city of the cats.

Perfect summer reading under a tree or in your big snuggly chair, I'm sure.


  1. These look good. maybe I'll tuck up with them this summer!

  2. As a child I discovered the first 2 books in this series at my local library. They were my favorites by far of all the children's books I read. As an adult, while searching for copies of these books, I learned that there was a third book in the series. I now own all 3 and still find the stories magical and comforting.