- Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New impression edition (24 Sept. 1970)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140019421
- ISBN-13: 978-0140019421
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.4 x 18 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Jennie Mass Market Paperback – 24 Sep 1970
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The unforgettable adventures of a small boy changed into a stray cat and befriended with the indomitable Jennie, who initiates him into the lore of London's streets.
Top Customer Reviews
Totally engrossing the way you go into Peter's story. I still cry at the end- not going to spoil it for you though- even though I've re-read it loads of times. Have bought lots of copies to give to friends over the years as I've so wanted to share the utter pleasure of it with them- even placed a copy in the coffin of my daughter, so that she had this wonderful novel with her for her journey to the great beyond.
It's time to put something back, and here it is - my first, and possibly only, review.
Everything the guys above say about this book is true for me too, but I would express it more ringingly - it didn't only define, from childhood to now, everything I feel about 'cats', it also defined and will also define 'love'.
I have re-read it as a hardened, cynical, sceptical adult, whose favourite book is Catch-22 and who thinks, say, Captain Corelli is just far too soppy, glib, and obvious. Despite the fact that 'Jennie' might also be soppy, glib and obvious, I cried myself happily to sleep two nights in a row.
So get a copy or two. Read it yourself by all means, but the important thing is to make it available for a child to find and read. It'll be one of the most important things you ever do for her (or maybe THE most important thing for him).
It starts with Peter in bed after a traffic accident – he’d been running across the road after a tabby striped kitten when he was hit by a vehicle. Then when he wakes up, he realises he is a cat, no longer a boy, and Nanny chases him out of the house! So his adventure begins.
Almost immediately he encounters a nasty yellow tom cat, who brutally savages him for ‘trespassing’. Badly cut and battered, Peter is nursed back to health by a small tabby with an enigmatic smile – Jennie.
When Peter explains his predicament, Jennie believes him, simply because he doesn’t exhibit any of the normal traits of a cat. She sets about teaching him how to be a cat. ‘Oh, dear,’ said Peter, who never did much enjoy having to learn things… (p36) Typical boy, then.
When he mentions Nanny not liking cats, Jennie is philosophical about that: ‘There are people who don’t, and we can understand and respect them for it. Sometimes we like to tease them a little by rubbing up against them, or getting into their laps just to see them jump. They can’t help it any more than we can help not liking certain kinds of people and not wanting to have anything to do with them. But at least we know where we stand when we come across someone like your Nanny. It’s the people who love us, or say they love us and then hurt us, who…’ (p34)
One of Jennie’s useful (and amusing) tips is that ‘Whatever the situation, whatever difficulty you may be in, you can’t go wrong if you wash.Read more ›
Peter is desperate for a pet - his mother is more interested in parties, his father away in the army, but he isn't allowed the cat he craves. After being knocked down by a car, he awakens as - a cat! Not recognised at home, he is soon out on the streets. A kind female comes to his aid and shows him his new world. And capabilities.
Jennie can't believe that Peter is really a human boy at first. WIll Peter learn the ways of cats, stay that way, or somehow manage to return to his old life? Would he want to?
The most impressive thing about this story was the wonderful passages of Peter learning to be a cat - how to lick himself, how to move through the world as a cat, how to fight as one. I loved this, it felt as though the author had done meticulous research!
The story is sweet, as Peter and Jennie loyally band together through adventures around the world, meeting kind and cruel people (and other animals), and working out just where they want to be.
Deserves to be better known, it's a lovely story and well told, not hard to read, needs a contemporary cover and would stand up well against modern animal stories.
One for ages 9 and above.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Gem. Touching and sensitive - especially if you've just lost a girl friend called Jennie!Published 13 months ago by spotty
Wonderful,heartwarming and heartbreaking recommend to everyone including non cat lovers.Published 16 months ago by midge
A really good story from the beginning until thw end. The story of a boy called Peter. Animal cruelity to begin or so nearly left for dead. Read morePublished 17 months ago by David
So dated that the children didn't want me to read any more as they couldn't understand much of the dated expressions.Published 20 months ago by jilly parker