Typh’s Picks: Get Your Paws on a Purrrfect Book

Central PA Live

Each month, Typhani Russo from the Altoona Area Public Library shares her top 10 book picks that center around a specific theme. This month’s theme is “Get Your Paws on a Purrrfect Book.”

Book information and summaries cited from Goodreads.com.

All books listed are available at the Altoona Area Public Library


Book: The Adventures of Miss Petitfour, by Anne Michaels 


The magical adventures of an eccentric Mary Poppins-esque heroine and her flying feline charges is sure to charm readers big and small. Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are “just the right size and fit into a single, magical day.” She is an expert at baking and her favorite mode of travel is par avion. On windy days, she takes her sixteen cats out for an airing: Minky, Misty, Taffy, Purrsia, Pirate, Mustard, Moutarde, Hemdela, Earring, Grigorovitch, Clasby, Captain Captain, Captain Catkin, Captain Cothespin, Your Shyness and Sizzles. With the aid of her favorite tea party tablecloth as a makeshift balloon, Miss Petitfour and her cats fly over her village, having many little adventures along the way. Join Miss Petitfour and her equally eccentric felines on five magical outings. This is a whimsical, beautifully illustrated collection of tales that celebrates language, storytelling and small pleasures.

Book: Blitzcat, by Robert Westall


Black cats bring good luck, or so it is believed by the many people whose lives are changed by their encounters with Lord Gort. Lord Gort is an ordinary cat. She has no magic powers and rarely does anything more than what other cats can do. When her master leaves home to fight the Germans in World War II, Lord Gort sets out to track him down. In the course of her travels, the black cat is befriended by a lonely volunteer in the Observer Corps, a maverick sergeant, an elderly carter and a young war widow. Adopted by the rear gunner of a bomber plane, Lord Gort flies on numerous missions over enemy territory. After many successful flights, she and the rear gunner are forced to bail out over occupied France. With the help of the Spanish and French resistance movements, the man and the cat return to England, where Lord Gort is reunited with her master.

Book: Fat Cat: A Danish Folktale, by Margaret Read MacDonald  


Have you ever heard the saying, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach?” Well, Cat’s stomach is bigger than a lot of things. He is always hungry and living with culinary-inclined Mouse, who makes thirty five pies in one day, just makes it worse. Fat Cat swallows everything in sight, including the washlady, her washtub, a troop of soldiers, their swords, and even a king and his elephant! But when Cat swallows Mouse and her sewing basket, that’s the last straw.

Book: Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed, by Lesléa Newman


Moshe Cotel was a composer who lived in a noisy building on a noisy street in a noisy city. But Moshe didn’t mind. Everything he heard was music to his ears. One day, while out for a walk, he heard a small, sad sound that he’d never heard before. It was a tiny kitten! Inspired by a true story, Lesléa Newman and Amy June Bates craft an engaging tale of a creative man and the beloved cat who brings unexpected sweet notes his way.

Book: Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey, by Doug Kuntz


When an Iraqi family is forced to flee their home, they can’t bear to leave their beloved cat, Kunkush, behind. So they carry him with them from Iraq to Greece, keeping their secret passenger hidden away. But during the crowded boat crossing to Greece, his carrier breaks and the frightened cat runs from the chaos. After an unsuccessful search, his family has to continue their journey, leaving brokenhearted. A few days later, aid workers in Greece find the lost cat. Knowing how much his family has sacrificed already, they are desperate to reunite them with the cat they love so much. A worldwide community comes together to spread the word on the Internet and in the news media. After several months the impossible happens and they finally have a happy ending in their new home. This remarkable true story is told by the real people involved, with the full cooperation of Kunkush’s family.


Book: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron


Dewey’s story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most. As his fame grew from town to town and finally, amazingly, worldwide, Dewey became more than just a friend. He became a source of pride for an extraordinary town.

Book: Homer’s Odyssey, by Gwen Cooper


Everyone warned that Homer would always be an “underachiever.” Never as playful or independent as other cats. But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three-pound dynamo, a tiny daredevil with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven-foot bookcases with ease and leapt five feet into the air to catch flies in mid-buzz. He survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Center and even saved Gwen’s life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night. Homer’s Odyssey is the once-in-a-lifetime story of an extraordinary cat and his human companion. It celebrates the refusal to accept limits against overwhelming odds. Jubilant and moving, it’s a memoir for anybody who’s ever fallen completely and helplessly in love with a pet.

Book: What My Cat Has Taught Me About Life, by Niki Anderson


Need a fresh purr-spective on life? You’ll find it with this insightful and inspiring gift book. You’ll be inspired to live with passion, pouncing on every precious moment. What My Cat Has Taught Me About Life offers all the motivation you need to enjoy life to its fullest with your favorite felines. Inside you’ll discover meditations, real-life cat stories, little known cat facts and memorable quotes. Whether you’re in the mood for something dignified or just need a chuckle or two, What My Cat Has Taught Me About Life has all you’re looking for.

Book: The World According to Bob, by James Bowen


James and his street cat Bob have been on a remarkable journey together. In the years since their story ended in the bestselling A Street Cat Named Bob, James, with Bob’s help, has begun to find his way back to the real world. Almost every day, Bob provides moments of intelligence, bravery and humour and opens his friend’s eyes to important truths about friendship, loyalty, and the meaning of happiness. In the continuing tale of their life together James shows the many ways in which Bob has been his guardian angel through times of illness and hardship. As they high five together for their crowds of admirers, James knows that the tricks he’s taught Bob are nothing compared to the lessons he’s learned from his street-wise cat. 

Book: The Feline Mystique: On the Mysterious Connection Between Women and Cats,

by Clea Simon


What is it with women and cats? The Feline Mystique is the first serious examination of the intense relationship between woman and their cats. Richly researched and searchingly personal, The Feline Mystique uses history, science, art, and literature to explain and explore contemporary women’s lives with their cats. From a glamorous tiger trainer to a feral cat rescuer, this book will introduce you to women both ferocious and nurturing; animals both whimsical and noble. It’s a fresh, fascinating exploration of the timeless bond between women and cats that will deepen your understanding of your relationship with your own feline.

Visit the Altoona Area Public Library online or Facebook, or check out Typhani’s Facebook page for more information.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss