The Adventures of Celeste the Cat: Celeste and the Giant Hamster (英語) ペーパーバック – 2009/5/22
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
Celeste the Cat is tormented by her humans insistence on keeping a dwarf hamster, appallingly named Celestina, as a pet. Enlisting the aid of two friends, the brave but intellectually challenged Tiger and overly-enthusiastic Ruby, she sets out to trap a giant hamster that is loose and living in a nearby field. She plans on placing the giant hamster in front of Celestinas cage to show her owner what she thinks of pet rodents. The giant hamster--actually a capybara--proves to be a larger, stronger and more intelligent adversary than the cats expect, resulting in a series of humorous mishaps that leave the trio battered but not dispirited. Slowly the cats come to realize that the capybara is not the frightening monster they imagined. When the capybara has a litter of eight precocious capy-kittens, Celeste, Ruby and Tiger find themselves doing things they never imagined, like going for a swim and protecting baby rodents from a tough gang of tom cats.
I should probably mention here that I was not allowed to watch the TV show Lassie as a child because I became hysterical when any animal was threatened with pain or hunger or death, etc. And as you know, that TV show was fraught with peril for other animals, and Lassie herself for that matter.
But today's children are nothing like that and are much tougher than I am, then and now. I loved the humor in the book and laughed happily at Celeste and her friends' efforts to trap the giant hamster and the wild ride that ensued on that first expedition.
But I lived in terror that the baby capybara might not make it - I mean, I thought he probably *would* make it, but there are no guarantees in this world (Bambi's mother, for instance, although that didn't upset me as it did the rest of all those bawling children in the theatre. I mean, it was a *cartoon*, for pete's sake).
Then sweet little Ruby, somewhat special Ruby, was suddenly in peril as well. I had already grown rather fond of Ruby, even if others disparaged her simple ways.
And there was Blood! Not too much blood, to be sure, but any blood was too much blood for me and my pounding heart. So my heart was in my throat by the time I found out (I don't want to spoil it for anyone) the fate of the characters.
I laughed out loud several times throughout the book which is kind of the acid test. I thought it was a wonderful book! I just didn't know what I was getting into and wasn't prepared for all that emotional investing I had done in the characters to be abruptly jeopardized by, shall we say, terroristic factions.
And I was very happy with the ending of the book! I liked the way everything played out. It wasn't sickeningly sweet, but it was a lovely outcome for all, especially the scene at the veterinarian's office.
I am proud to say that I did not flip to the end but managed to read it all the way through, although by the time it was safe to breath again, I was reading with one eye closed and the other one just barely open enough to see, so that I could slam the book shut the instant anything truly dreadful happened!
Now that I have read it, and experienced a little bit of cardiac arrhythmia along with it, which was totally worth it, I plan to go back and re-read it. I won't be so worried about the fate of the babies and their mum, and the cats that were wearing (symbolically) the white hats. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series. (Please don't kill anyone - even the bad guys. That is, any animal bad guys. You can kill off people all over the place and I won't blink an eye.
But little Ruby wants to tag along, then not-so-much-smarter-than-your-average-cat Tiger, and even the giant rodent itself proves to be more of a challenge than Celeste expected.
In this hilarious caper that explains why cats do the things they do, Celeste learns that sometimes your own pride is less important than the safety and happiness of your friends.
While this book is intended for children, it's an enjoyable read for cat lovers of all ages. Parents of younger children may wish to read the book out loud, since the chapters can be pretty long for a young reader.
Those who are fans of capybaras may be a little disappointed to discover that this is really a book about cats (the capybara is more of a secondary character). That said, the cats have very well-developed personalities and Typaldos does a terrific job imagining the intricacies of the feline psyche. Through the excellent narration, we experience the joy that Celeste feels at successfully manipulating her humans into giving her food from the table. We begin to understand that cats do feel pangs of guilt after knocking over a piece of furniture (they just don't know how to express it). We discover that "typical" cat behavior is taught to young kittens by their mothers through catchy proverbs.
Overall, Celeste and the Giant Hamster is a well thought-out book that features one of the neatest animals in existence (capybara!).