Esther Averill ~ Harper & Row, 1947
What the hay, since we are talking about cats anyways... Assuming you all know the famous Fire Cat, the story of the wild and crazy kitty who learns to become unwild and settles into a life of civic duty with the fire department. Well, the tales of the mischievous Pickles are partially preceded in a series of more than a dozen books about a little black cat named Jenny Linksy and all her feline friends. The only one I own in its original form is book two (book one is The Cat Club) about when Jenny gets shipped off to boarding school and learns that sometimes you have to stand up to bullies in order to make friends.Once upon a time there was a Boarding School for Cats off in the country, in a white house surrounded by a field of daisies. Cats and kittens, mostly from towns and cities, went there. Sometimes they went because their masters were obliged to go away on trips or business. Sometimes a cat was sent to School to learn good manners.Here is where Pickles the Fire Cat and Jenny meet in a new school experience that would shake even the most hardened kindergartner. As you might recall, Pickles likes to chase things and when Jenny arrives at school and he comes at her with his miniature hook and ladder, well, let's just say, it's not good. Not even the late-night cat nip sessions and claw sharpening log beds can make her want to stay... Will she run away back to New York City or will she stay to face her fears and stand up to that pushy little Fire Cat? Thankfully, someone at the New York Review Books Children's Collection got wind of their awesomeness and reprinted a whole mess of Jenny's tales. These stories couldn't be more dear in their delivery. Little treasures of mischievous innocence and wit... confronting childhood fears using simple three-color pen and ink drawings that melt your heart instantly.My son's girlfriend Dale goes nuts for them and even formed her own kindergarten "cat club" with her friends last year. Unbelievably cute. If you know what's good for you, you'll join up, too!