'Stylish, original and inventive, Varjak Paw is a modern children's classic' Jacqueline Wilson
This cat must learn to fight!
Varjak Paw is a Mesopotamian Blue kitten. He lives high up in an old house on a hill. He's never left home, but then his grandfather tells him about the Way - a secret martial art for cats.
'There are Seven Skills in the way of Jalal,' whispered the Elder Paw. 'We know only three of them. Their names are these. Slow-Time. Moving Circles. Shadow-walking.'
Now Varjak must use the Way to survive in a city full of dangerous dogs, cat gangs and, strangest of all, the mysterious Vanishings.
With stunning illustrations from acclaimed graphic artist Dave McKean, this much-loved story won the Smarties Prize Gold Award and has become a modern classic.
'A beguiling tale that sticks in the memory. The cat's whiskers' The Sunday Times
'Dazzling' The New York Times
'The cat magic mystique is brilliant' - Richard Adams, author of Watership Down
'A story of finding your true strengths by learning to trust your instincts and think for yourself. Striking, edgy illustrations' Financial Times
'Pacy, invigorating and quietly wise' Time Out
'Imagine The Karate Kid directed by David Lynch' Bookmunch.co.uk
Follow Varjak's further adventures in The Outlaw Varjak Paw.
In the tradition of dystopian animal stories like Watership Down, British author Said's dark allegorical tale introduces a pampered indoor cat who ventures "Outside" for the first time. Varjak Paw is a purebred Mesopotamian Blue whose eyes are not green like the rest of his family's; yet readers may pick up on clues from Varjak's grandfather, the Elder Paw, that the kitten may share a trait or two with his esteemed ancestor, Jalal. A series of events leads to the Elder Paw's hastened attempts to instruct Varjak in a discipline called "the Way" (the Elder only knows three of the Seven Skills) and sends him on a mission to save the feline family. Outside, Varjak learns from urban street cats about a dreadful fate called "Vanishing," involving the disappearance of great numbers of cats. Meanwhile, in his dreams, Varjak visits his ancestral land along the Tigris River, where Jalal instructs him in the Seven Skills of "the Way," akin to the tenets of the spiritual practice of the martial arts (e.g., the first skill is "Open Mind," the second, "Awareness," etc.). The fate of the "Vanished cats," "not quite alive, not quite dead," also underscores the importance of living consciously. The author follows mythic archetypes in this densely plotted cat story, illustrated in chilling, sinuous pen-and-ink images by McKean. The exposition is suspenseful and the conclusion taut. As Said evokes the dangerous life of a cat fending for itself, he also weaves in elements of humor and legendary bravery, proving that growth stems from adversity. Ages 8-12.
This book is outstanding and has several reasons why. A book with a cat different to his family and he gets treated horribly. You wouldn't find that in any other books so go ahead and read this book!
I love this book if you think about it you find that it's better then it looks! SF Said is probably my no.1 writer and I want more Varjak paws or books with animals what fight coz I WUV them.
Feline Grace and Mystery
Varjak Paw is a story of adventure and discovery. It tells of a cat that is 'different' from his family and how he discovers the power of being true to himself and saving those he loves. It is a book for older readers and grown ups - who will all love it.
It has an oriental feel to it, the images in the book are dramatic and striking. We follow Varjak Paw as he learns the mystical skills that will allow him to overcome his enemies, becoming a small, black and fearless ninja cat, like the martial arts heroes of olden times.
There are enemies to counter and friends in odd p,aces - like the dog he meets! A good story with a second book you
can't wait to read!