Anton and Cecil Cats at Sea by Lisa Martin and Valerie Martin.
Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: October 2013
List Price: $16.95
Review: Arghh Maties! The squawk of the pirate is what cat brothers Anton and Cecil hear frequently. In Anton and Cecil Cats at Sea by Lisa Marten and Valerie Marten, both cats are taken on a journey, one was unwillingly forced and the other set out to save him. The two creatures are very different from each other, one stocky, brave and adventurous, the other, slim, quiet, and reserved. However, They share a close bond that nothing can break, and when they are separated on two different ships, they are only focused on finding each other once more. Many dangerous encounters happen in this exciting, fun book, and both Anton and Cecil always try to keep going, in hope of reuniting with their much-missed sibling.
Anton and Cecil live in a peaceful and comfortable home. They have everything a cat would need, affection from people, a caring mother, and fresh food and water. Anton is a shy, quiet cat, who doesn't get into trouble. Cecil however, is an outgoing, carefree cat, with a thirst for adventure. The quietness and serenity of their home isn't enough to quench that thirst, Cecil wants more hustle and bustle. Both cats witness ships coming into port into their small town, and see the merciless sailors snatch cats into fishing nets and force them aboard. Anton is taken and put onto a ship, with no warning. He has seen Cecil go on small adventures on ships, and it always returns the day after, but this ship is big, and it's planning to be gone for a while. In a desperate attempt t save his brother, Cecil tries to jump onto the boat Anton is on but he doesn't make the leap. He waits for the next boat to arrive and boards that one to try to save his poor, lost brother. When the brothers go their separate ways in their ships, they face many difficulties. Fights with large, disgusting rats and storms that tear apart the ship are just a couple of the issues they have to face. They rely on the legend of "Where the eye sees the eye, the lost shall be found" which is told at home about how a cat's eye appears in the sky and watches over lost cats. The cats meet all sorts of creatures like vultures, dolphins, whales, and even mermaids along the way of their incredible journey. But will an old legend from home and a whole lot of faith get them out of this dilemma?
Anton and Cecil is a fabulous book! It is very intriguing, suspenseful, and overall just amazing. The book was written intelligently, using words and phrases that were unique and drew the reader in, yet it was easy to understand. Even though two cats out at sea may not sound very relatable, the general idea of overcoming obstacles all in blind hope of accomplishing something (in this case finding each other) is something many people can relate to. For example, going into something like rock climbing like I did, without any experience and not knowing how it would work out is similar to this book. It's like it because I just hoped that I would do well but there was no way to really be sure, but I still tried it because I wanted to be good at it, like Anton and Cecil wanted to see each other. I'm sure many others can also relate to this idea. Also, the details were really awesome. Throughout the whole book I felt like I was right there on the ship with them, waiting out the storm, listening to the sailors' songs, and wishing for my sibling to be with me. The way the authors described the setting and surroundings made me feel like I could taste the salty air of the ocean and feel the light breeze. When you felt like you were right there with them, it made you want to keep reading! It got me interested because it felt like as I turned the page, I would find out my fate on the next page. This book also had very well developed characters. They each had very specific traits and personalities, so when one of them was in a situation where they had two choices, you could usually predict which they would choose. It was not, however, too predictable; you never knew the situation they could be thrown into next. The physical descriptions of Anton and Cecil were so well developed that you could picture exactly how they looked, even without a picture. The authors' words painted a picture in my mind very well so that I not only felt like I was there because of her description of the setting, but also because of how detailed the description of the characters is. All in all this book was absolutely amazing, and I definitely hope there's a sequel because I'm still very interested in the story. Throughout the story I felt like I got close to Anton and Cecil, like I became a friend to them, so I hope I can see more of their remarkable antics and adventures!
Review written by Savannah (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of Anton and Cecil Cats at Sea for this review.
Have you read Anton and Cecil Cats at Sea? How would you rate it?