Every journey begins with one paw step.
Malkin Moonlight is the tale of an unwanted black cat who survives in spite of all of the odds to do great things for all of Cat-kind. He is given the gift of his name by the moon, and is told he has a destiny. On his adventures he meets and falls in love with a domestic cat called Roux (one of my year 4 pupils was very excited when she realised that she was probably named after the chef ). Malkin also finds himself compelled to help any animal in need, whether they are seagulls called Horatio or tiny voles. However, when Roux’s owner sells the pub where she lives to a dog owner, Malkin and Roux need to find a new home.
Set in the area around Starcross-on-Sea, this book has a wonderful sense of place about it. You can almost smell the salt in the air and hear the gulls squawking overhead whenever Malkin and Roux are on the sea wall, and the description of the dump where the Putrescibles live oozes with the malignant stenches of the wastelands. The characters themselves feel like they would fit right in with the likes of Rum-Tum-Tugger and Mister Mistoffeles in a really feel-good tale of love, compassion, and the importance of looking after the world around us around us. Emma Cox has done fantastically well in creating this book, and I can see exactly why she won the National Literacy Trust’s New Author Prize in 2015 – definitely one to watch for the future!
This is a book for anyone who loves animals. The cats are relatable and the story itself is well thought out. Read it as a bedtime story or even with your class as a guided reading book – there’s plenty to talk about and loads of scope to link to other books. There’s also a classroom pack full of ideas for this on the Malkin Moonlight Website. Readers who like this book would enjoy Varjak Paw by S.F.Said, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S.Elliot, or Winston and the Marmelade Cat by Megan Rix.