We’re nearly there! Gobblino is is the eleventh book that we have read for the 2015 Classics Challenge which has been a lot of fun. All the books that we have read have been new to my daughter but some have been new to me as well. I don’t remember reading Gobbolino as a child although the story did seem familiar when we read it.
Gobbolino is a black cat with one white paw. He doesn’t want to be a witch’s cat like his sister Sootica, he just wants to be a kitchen cat. Throughout the book he has lots of adventures while trying to find a place by somebody’s fire and he finds an unlikely ally in Sootica when his final adventure puts him in danger.
Sootica quickly finds a home with a witch in The Hurricane Mountains but when no witch will take a black cat with a white paw Gobbolino is abandoned by his mother, Grimalkin, and her mistress. Despite his sadness he realises that this is his chance to follow his dream of being a kitchen cat. After children save him from being caught in the river’s mill wheel he is overjoyed to be given a place to sleep in their kitchen but his happiness is short-lived when the farmer discovers his secret and throws him out. During the book he lives in an orphanage as well as a palace, joins a circus and goes to sea as a ship’s cat. He befriends three little boys, meets a knight and a dragon, becomes a princess’ playmate and is given a home by a woodcutter. The story comes full circle when Gobbolino is reunited with Sootica in The Hurricane Mountains but he must face one last challenge when he disobeys her mistress, the witch!
Gobbolino The Witch’s Cat is a tale of courage and determination and shows that making the best out of a bad situation can ultimately lead to happiness. We really enjoyed the diversity of Gobbolino’s adventures and he is such a warm hearted, kind little cat that we sympathised with every emotion and disappointment that he experienced throughout the story. At one point towards the end of the book my daughter wanted to us to stop reading as she was a little bit scared but curiosity got the better of her and we did finish it!
Gobbolino inspired us to bake black cats for the school’s Halloween party. We added cocoa powder to a shortbread recipe and the silver balls that we added for her eyes gave her a spooky Halloween look!
Age Range: 7+
Author: Ursula Moray Williams / Illustrator: Catherine Rayner