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About this book
The Mostly True Story of Pudding Tat, Adventuring Cat
Stacy Innerst • Caroline Adderson
Pudding Tat is born on the Willoughby Farm in 1901 — just another one of Mother Tat’s kittens. But it turns out that Pudding is anything but ordinary. He is pure white with pink eyes that, though beautiful, do not see well, and hearing that is unusually acute. He finds himself drawn to the sweet sounds of the world around him — the pattering heartbeat of a nearby mouse, the musical tinkling of a distant stream.
Soon the sounds of adventure call to Pudding, too. But before he can strike out into the wide world on his own, he hears a voice — coming from right inside his own ear. A flea has claimed Pudding as his host. The bossy parasite demands that Pudding take him away from the lowly barn and the drunken singing of his fellow fleas. He doesn’t want adventure but a finer life — one where he can enjoy a warm bed and blood flavored not with mice, but with beef tenderloin and cream.
Fortunately for this mismatched pair, the world is an extremely interesting place in 1901. Over the next decade and a half, Pudding and his flea find themselves helping to make history — a journey over Niagara Falls in a barrel, a visit to the Pan-American Exposition on the day President McKinley is shot, a luxurious stay in Manhattan with songwriter Vincent Bryan, a terrifying trip on the airship America, and a voyage on the ill-fated Titanic.
Through each narrow escape, the call to adventure for the cat, and luxury for his disgruntled flea, beckons them on, right to the devastation of a World War I battlefield. Then Pudding is filled with a new longing, one that brings him, with his flea’s help now, full circle and back home.
The wide world drew Pudding on from the moment he stepped outside. The farm, the woods, the fields. He smelled it all.
And something else. His sensitive whiskers tingled with it.
The wide world was changing. Like Pudding, people were on the move, leaving farms for the cities, the old world for the new. Some wanted a better life, others adventure. All of them were dreaming. Dreaming big — of automobiles and airplanes, subways and electric lights. Dreaming of the things we take for granted now, but which were new amazements then.
The voice urged him on, too. “Giddy up.”
“Who are you?” Pudding asked....
“A flea,” the voice answered. “What did you think?”
About the Creators
STACY INNERST was born in Los Angeles and studied art and history at the University of New Mexico. He is the illustrator of The Music in George’s Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue by Suzanne Slade, which received four starred reviews and the Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustration, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of RBG vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter, a New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Book.
CAROLINE ADDERSON is an award-winning author of books for children and adults. Her work for adults has been nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her middle-grade novel, Middle of Nowhere, won the Sheila E. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and was shortlisted for the CLA Children’s Book of the Year Award. She is also the author of the enormously successful Jasper John Dooley series. Caroline is program director of the Writing Studio at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
Awards and Praise
Middle of Nowhere
“The character dynamics are just right throughout … Adderson’s success here is the subtly realistic tone (with comic notes) through the heavy moments and the moral conundrums.” — The Horn Book
“Thoughtful, eventful and sharply realized, this poetic novel celebrates the resourcefulness of both the young and the old. Excellent fare.” — Toronto Star
“What could easily have become a heavy-handed tale of desperation is anything but thanks to Adderson’s ability to maintain a thread of humour throughout. The beauty of her delivery is that the comedy is never forced; rather, it is found in small, subtle moments – the kind readers will recognize as genuine.” — Quill & Quire (Book of the Year citation)
A Simple Case of Angels
“Characters are gloriously quirky… the angelic twist at the conclusion is satisfyingly appropriate and more about human goodness than evangelizing—entirely in keeping with the book.” — Kirkus
“Though Adderson brings a light touch to some serious grown-up problems ... in this whimsical novel, she doesn’t shy away from probing the real-world problems familiar to children. ... A sweet but never saccharine story.” — Booklist