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Kaspar: Prince of Cats Paperback – 7 Jan 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (7 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007267002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007267002
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Multi-award winning author, Michael Morpurgo, is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children and has won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, The Writers Guild Award and the Blue Peter Book Award for his recent novel, Private Peaceful, which has also had two successful runs as a play devised by Bristol Old Vic. From 2003 to 2005 he was the Children's Laureate, a role which took him all over the UK to promote literacy and reading, and in 2005 he was named the Booksellers Association Author of the Year.

Product Description

From the Author

I'm a story detective. I hunt down clues because I need evidence to write my stories. So what was the evidence behind the writing of Kaspar?

A year ago I was asked to be Writer-in-Residence at the Savoy Hotel in London. This involved putting on some literary events and staying for three months at the Savoy. My wife Clare and I had a bed the size of Ireland, and breakfast every morning looking out over the Thames. Everyone in the hotel was very kind. We were treated like royalty - which was great!

Then one day, in the corridor next to the American Bar, I met Kaspar, the Savoy Cat. He was sitting there in a glass showcase - a sculpture of a huge black cat - very elegant, very superior. I made enquiries, as detectives do, and found out why he was there.

One day, almost a hundred years ago, thirteen men sat down to a dinner party at the Savoy. One of them scoffed loudly at the suggestion that thirteen might be an unlucky number, said it was so much tosh. Only a few weeks later, he was shot down in his office in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thereafter The Savoy decided that they would never again allow thirteen people to sit down together for dinner. They would always have a fourteenth chair, and sitting on the fourteenth chair, there would be a specially carved sculpture of a lucky black cat. He was known as Kaspar.
My first clue.

My second clue: I came down to breakfast one morning, and was walking down the red carpeted stairs into the River Restaurant, when I looked up and had a sudden sense of déjà vu. The whole decor and atmosphere reminded me of pictures I'd seen of the restaurant on the Titanic. I knew then my story would be about a cat called Kaspar, who would live at the Savoy and become the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic.

But it was the people who lived and worked at the Savoy who gave me my last and most vital clue. I discovered that they came from every corner of the globe. And I soon discovered also that their lives were very different from the lives of the guests they looked after. It would have been very much like this, I thought, in 1912, at the time the Titanic went down.

My evidence was complete. A little dreamtime, to make some sense of all the clues, and I could begin my story, about how Kaspar was brought to the Savoy by a very famous diva - an opera singer, a Countess from Russia...
Michael Morpurgo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Kaspar the cat first came to The Savoy Hotel in a basket - Johnny Trott knows, because he was the one who carried him in. Johnny was a bell-boy, you see, and he carried all of Countess Kandinsky's things to her room.

But Johnny didn't expect to end up with Kaspar on his hands forever, and nor did he count on making friends with Lizziebeth, a spirited American heiress. Pretty soon, events are set in motion that will take Johnny - and Kaspar - all around the world, surviving theft, shipwreck and rooftop rescues along the way. Because everything changes with a cat like Kaspar around. After all, he's Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats, a Muscovite, a Londoner and a New Yorker, and as far as anyone knows, the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic ... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Meldorf on 9 Dec 2008
Format: Hardcover
Kaspar is about Johnny Trott, a bell boy in the Savoy Hotel in London, who is an orphan. He is trusted with the duty of looking after a guest's cat but this cat is no ordinary cat; it is the prince of all cats. He becomes good friends with a rich girl called Elisabeth and he stows away on the Titanic so that he can be with her. But the Titanic hits an iceberg and he is the one to tell Elisabeth and her family that the ship is sinking. At the last minute he realises that he has forgotten the cat and he must go and fetch him.
Sometimes everything seems to be going badly for Johnny but things are never as bad as you may think. It has a more than satisfying conclusion.
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By A. Rhodes on 14 Nov 2008
Format: Hardcover
My eight year old daughter and I are devoted Michael Morpurgo fans and Kaspar is undoubtedly our favourite so far. Beautifully illustrated and told with great empathy for the human and animal subjects. In all his stories he tackles big issues for children to understand and the portrayal of the sinking of the Titanic is no exception. Even so he kept us both gripped and the ending brought a lump to my throat. Whether you are a devotee or a first time reader you will not be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 22 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written story which I first read myself aged 26 and have since shared with nieces, nephews and classes of children in school. Without exception they have all loved it. It's great to find stories which both boys and girls enjoy equally, and I can definitely put Kaspar Prince of Cats into this category. A firm favourite on my bookshelf!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jay on 6 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good read for 7-10 year olds (approx). As usual from Michael Morpurgo, it is well written with engaging characters and plot. We are going to use with Year 5 pupils because of the Titanic link.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By sugaspicekiki on 3 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
I was in an impulsive mood when i bought this, seen it had a cute black cat on the cover like mine snapped it up,read the blurb on the back it mentioned the titanic,thought it sounded interesting so i got it.Now bearing in mind im 21 an this is a kids book i really enjoyed it lol not that it bothers me its a kids book as i read anything that appeals an many diff books.Its a nice happy story apart from some bits obviously cuz the titanics in it but i thought the author was very good the way he covered it, its more based around the cat than actually about it but i enjoyed the story and im sure any child would love this,i defo would have when i was a kid
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Format: Hardcover
Johnny Trott, a 14-year-old orphan raised in a workhouse in London, is bell-boy at the Savoy Hotel in London. One day, his life is changed forever when he is asked by a guest - a famous Russian countess and opera singer - to help look after her cat, Kaspar. Little does he know that this encounter will take him and Kaspar on an adventure across the Atlantic, on board the Titanic on her maiden voyage. But tragedy strikes the fated pair when, one night, the ship collides with an iceberg. Is this the end of their journey? Will they survive?

Michael Morpurgo has a wonderful, lucid, fluid writing style. This story tackles tough issues such as poverty, blackmail and death, but, more than that, it is a story of friendship, generosity of the human spirit and survival in the hardest of circumstances. It is beautifully illustrated by Michael Foreman, whose drawings bring Johnny Trott's experiences of the early 20th century vividly to life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jo Robinson on 26 Jun 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book for sharing with 8 and 10 year old children! Morpurgo's books are all gripping from start to finish and Kaspar is no exception!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AC on 7 Jun 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a great read , I did Enjoy it very much. I would recommend this for 10 - 12 years
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