As they cross the ocean, a mystical prophecy of finding what they've lost when they see a cat's eye keeps them going as they endure shipwrecks, storms, pirates, deserted islands, terrifying creatures and a whale who may or may not be friendly.
This story felt very old-fashioned to me, but I enjoyed it even so. Although some of the publicity bills it as an adventure tale, readers picking it up and expecting thrills and excitement will be disappointed. It's an older genre of animal story, where the animals are more anthropomorphous and the action is gentler, even when it involves something that could be scary like shipwrecks or pirates. It reminded me of the Doctor Dolittle stories with their special quality of mild danger, gentle humor, and enjoyment of simple storytelling.
Verdict: This won't be for every kid, most of whom prefer the more genre-ized modern fiction but if you have fans of Kate DiCamillo they may enjoy this return to an older, gentler storytelling tradition.
ISBN: 9781616202460; Published October 8, 2013 by Algonquin Young Readers/Workman Publishing; ARC provided by the publisher at ALA annual 2013