This enhanced e-book, in celebration of Groundwood's 35th anniversary, includes a read-aloud feature of the story narrated by Marie-Louise Gay.
Caramba is a sweet, shy cat who bravely accepts that he is different, and then discovers his own special talent.
Award-winning author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay, best known for her Stella and Sam books, brings us an endearing character in Caramba, a sweet, shy cat who bravely accepts that he is different, and then discovers his own special talent.
Caramba is a fat, furry, striped cat with a big problem. Every single cat in the world can fly, he sighs, except me!
Caramba would love to swoop and glide between the clouds, to feel the wind whistling through his fur. He tries to soar into the sky over and over again but always lands flat on his face, until finally he sadly accepts that he is earthbound. Don't be such a scaredy-cat, cry his cousins. All cats are meant to fly! They grab his paws and whisk him up into the sky for an impromptu flying lesson that ends with a big splash and a surprising discovery.
What if it were perfectly normal for cats to fly what if they could actually "leap off the cliffs and soar over the ocean... swoop and glide and skim the waves"? Then how would it feel to be the only cat who couldn't fly? That's the leap of faith Gay (the Stella series) asks readers to make, as she delivers her time-proven message: it's okay to be different. The eponymous, non-flying hero is a charmingly self-deprecating cutie. Poor Caramba tries to fly like other cats, and just as vainly tries to cover up his failures ("I'm looking for caterpillars," he tells his best friend, a pig named Portia, when she finds him lying face down on the ground). Then one day Caramba's cousins grab Caramba by the paws and bear him aloft, enabling him to "see forever." But it takes an accidental dunking for Caramba to discover his uniqueness (he can swim). The tale may seem overlong to make its point, but youngsters will likely be willing to go along for the ride because of Gay's dreamy, gossamer watercolors, which are beguiling from beginning to end. Her flying cats are not endowed with wings; rather, they fly simply by virtue of stretching out their arms in a kind of airborne ecstasy, their sinuous tails trailing behind them as they float above the white-capped, bottle-green sea. Ages 2-5.