Reviews /

The Taming of the Cat

Authored by Helen Cooper
Published by Faber & Faber

The Taming of the Cat is a fabulous adventure story by the well renowned author and illustrator Helen Cooper. Remember Pumpkin Soup? In actual fact this is two stories as it has a story within the story. There is a map at the beginning to show us where the adventure takes place and absolutely fabulous illustrations throughout which really add to this mischievous tale.

The story revolves around a group of mice who live in a cheese shop (heaven for them) and in particular one little mouse named Brie who really is not like the rest of the mice and a large ‘fearsome’ cat named Gorgonzola. Brie does not like cheese. He likes breadcrumbs.
Gorgonzola likes mice! His job is to rid the cheese shop of mice. He is cruel and mean and enjoys torturing any mouse he captures. There was war! The mice wanted cheese and Gorgonzola wanted mice. The only time the mice could get cheese was when Gorgonzola was fast asleep and snoring.

Brie liked to collect the labels off the cheese and he loved the swallows who listened to his stories. He is a great storyteller. The other mice in the group hated his stories and thought Brie very odd. The mice were very cruel to Brie and forced him from their home. All he could do was to find a hiding place behind the fridge where maybe Gorgonzola would not find him.
Of course, Gorgonzola found Brie while he was sleeping. She pounced and grabbed Brie who immediately woke up in fear of his life. Gorgonzola taunted Brie and suggested he run to escape, but Brie wasn’t a great runner. He told the cat that he was not like the other mice, that he liked to tell stories and that he did not like cheese. Gorgonzola was intrigued by this, he was bored and thought a good story may pass some time and so Brie began an adventure story about Camembert Castle, about a King and a Queen and a prince and Princess and a dragon.

Brie’s storytelling enabled the other mice to come out and get their cheese whilst Gorgonzola was concentrating on the story Brie was weaving. However, with all the best fairy stories not everything always went to plan. There are lots of twists and turns, lots of funny escapades and maybe a happy ending, but who? For Gorgonzola, Brie or the other mice?

I really enjoyed reading this story. It has so many wonderful characters and adventure. It is fast paced and a little bit scary at times. I think children of all ages would find enjoyment and excitement in this story. The Taming of the Cat is a beautifully written and crafted story. The language is straight forward but interesting with a glossary of all the cheese types mentioned in the story at the end.