Friday, February 25, 2022

Review: Haven: A Small Cat's Big Adventure by Megan Wagner Lloyd

 Today's read doesn't hit the shelves under this coming August, but it's well worth the wait. Now, I'm not usually a huge, animal story fan. Nor am I a huge cat-lover (yep, dog woman, here!). Add past animal tales, which also use the plot of a pet on a journey off into the world on its own, and I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this one, but gave it a go, anyway. And I'm glad I did.

Teachers and homeschoolers are going to want to keep an eye on this one, too.

A Small Cat's Big Adventures
by Megan Wagner Lloyd
Candlewick Press
Children's Adventure
144 pages
ages 7 to 10

AUGUST 22nd!!!

When her cherished Ma Millie falls ill, a timid housecat ventures into the wild to seek help in this adventure about love, loss, and finding the truest version of ourselves.

A warm, cozy lap. The toasty smell of baking bread. Tasty food served in a bright-blue bowl. These make Haven’s life as an indoor pet heaven. All thanks to her beloved human and rescuer, Ma Millie. But when Ma Millie becomes too sick to care for her, the cat’s cozy life is turned upside down, and Haven decides she must seek out another human for help. Anything for Ma Millie! Her vow pulls her out of her safe nest into the shadowy forest and down unfamiliar and dangerous roads. When her first plan fails, Haven meets a wilderness-savvy fox who volunteers as an ally, and their perilous journey together brings some victories. But Haven finds herself pitted against creatures far wilder than she ever could be, testing her strength and spirit to their limits. Will her loyalty to Ma Millie—and her newfound confidence in herself—be enough to help Haven see the quest through to its conclusion? Can she stand up against the fierce predator that is tracking her every move?



Heart, inspiration, and warmth make this a book to cuddle up with and dream of big adventures and the vast world beyond the backyard.

Haven is a content cat. After being abandoned in the woods, she was accepted into Ma Millie's home. There's isn't a better home that Haven could have asked for. When Ma Millie falls ill and help isn't nearby, Haven knows it's her turn to return the favor. Setting off to find assistance, Haven has no idea how many dangers she's about to face, nor can she even suspect what great friendship lies in store.

This is one of those animal books to fall in love with and enjoy from beginning to end. It's written for the lower end of the middle grade audience, and even suitable for those who are ready to leave the chapter book world. The chapters are short, the vocabulary isn't too hard but offers a little challenge, and the flow keeps boredom away. There are some more tense scenes, which might bother very sensitive readers, but most readers will enjoy the added adventure and find themselves at the edge of their seat.

The writing grabs right away and keeps the reader in the pages the whole way through. The scenes come to life as the odor of fresh bread or forest scenes bring a nice vividness, and that without bogging down with heavy descriptions. There's always something going on to drive the tale forward. Add Haven as a cat to root for, and an unexpected friendship, and there's more to love than just the heroism and exciting moments. Even the end touches the heart and leaves on a bitter-sweet note, which isn't quickly forgotten.

It's an easy read and packs enough adventure to even interest those readers, who aren't normally animal-story fans. 

And here she is...

Megan Wagner Lloyd is the author of the graphic novel Allergic, as well as the picture books Finding WildFort-Building TimeBuilding Books, and Paper Mice. Megan Wagner Lloyd lives with her family in the Washington, DC, area.


Heather N. Quinn said...

I really like the sounds of this one. Thanks!

john said...

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