Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea

Written by Lisa Martin Valerie Martin
Review by Nancy J. Attwell

In the time of sailing ships and pirates, two cats, brothers Anton and Cecil, live near the docks of Lunenburg. Anton is very like his mother, sleek, gray, and a lover of music, whereas the much larger Cecil, who takes after their dad, is goofy, black with white patches, and an adventurer at heart. Unfortunately, when the captain of the Mary Anne wants a ratter for his ship, it is rodent-hating Anton who is captured. Cecil soon seizes an opportunity to follow his brother by stowing away on another ship, but how will he ever find Anton on the vast ocean?

It is the cats’ adventures, including their friendships with various animals, that give this story its charm, but it is their interactions with the sailors that add depth. The humans are mysterious creatures who are only relevant because they provide food, water, and transportation to the cats. This makes it fun to watch the drama in the sailors’ lives from the viewpoint of such disinterested observers.

Well written, with an easy flow of language and plenty of action, Anton and Cecil comes recommended not only for pre-teen readers but also for adults to read aloud and share with younger children.