Catalina and Duke of Lombard

Children - Animals
116 Pages
Reviewed on 11/18/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Bryone Peters for Readers' Favorite

Meet some beautiful fluffy pedigreed cats in Catalina and Duke of Lombard by Patricia Derrick, which relates adventures that will keep you reading to see what transpires. Catalina, the cat, comes from a privileged home but was snatched and sold, which is where her adventures begin. Catalina goes through some tricky situations. If the fancy cat ladies are not careful, they could land in a lot of trouble and may not return to their privileged lives of gourmet food and pampering. However, they manage to escape with help from some wonderful cat guardian angels, amongst them a Siamese cat, whom the silly cat sisters, Makayla and Mackenzie, casually refer to as No Name. But No Name has a secret that shocks them all.

As an animal lover, I did not hesitate to read this book. It did not disappoint and will be an enjoyable read for both children and cat lovers. Expect to meet some colorful furry characters in Catalina and Duke of Lombard by Patricia Derrick, like Rathbone, the lovable rat who manages to escape a caged prison by losing weight. One of the best scenes in the book is where Catalina is lost. I could picture the street cats running alongside Catalina as they help her find her way home. Patricia Derrick brings together the life of Catalina and the near tragedy of the Chairman, which nearly made me cry, in a well-written story and contains enough suspense and action to make it a brilliant read.

Pikasho Deka

Catalina and Duke of Lombard by Patricia Derrick is an adventure novel for children and young adults that features animals. Catalina is a purebred Persian cat suited to a luxurious lifestyle, who unexpectedly finds herself boarding a steamer headed to America. Adopted by the Fayette family of Baltimore, Maryland, Catalina now joins the Ragdoll sisters Makayla and MacKenzie as they lord it over the street cats of Lombard Street. Unbeknown to them, the dirty-looking Siamese cat known as "No Name" (whose real name was Duke) was practically the royalty of Lombard Street. When three undesirable hobos kidnap Catalina and her friends, it is Duke and Catalina's old friend Rathbone the Rat that comes to their rescue. Meanwhile, Duke may still have a chance of being reunited with his family.

Patricia Derrick spins a fascinating adventure yarn featuring cats of all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Derrick paints an accurate portrayal of different kinds of cat lives, showing pampered cats who find themselves out of their element on the streets as well as their street counterparts for whom daily survival is a struggle. Each cat has a distinct and vibrant personality you can't help but admire. Catalina is a gentle soul who sees the best in everyone. On the other hand, Duke is a survivor who makes the best of what he gets. As a lover of all things feline, Catalina and Duke of Lombard was an absolute joy to read, and I recommend it to kids and young adults alike or even adults with feline companions.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

As readers will discover in Catalina and Duke of Lombard by Patricia Derrick, Catalina is a pedigreed cat. She lives a pampered life in a wealthy home in London, England. When the window washer catnaps her, she finds herself tethered for the first time in her life in an unpleasant location. Her catnapper smuggles Catalina onto a ship bound for America, which is where she meets Rathbone the rat, who is stuck in a cage. The two forge an unusual friendship, but, once in America, their ties are severed. Catalina is sold to another wealthy family and a new adventure begins, one that includes another displaced cat, Duke of Lombard. Catalina had spent her life feeling privileged and above others. Her new friends were making her see things in a whole new light: “Isn’t that really what the Duke was looking for in his friends – that everyone be viewed the same and each be given the same amount of light?” Duke’s friends always referred to him as No Name, not realizing how noble he was and indeed, how noble we all are.

Patricia Derrick’s early chapter book, Catalina and Duke of Lombard is a sweet story about cats and rats and what defines a person, or in this case a cat or a rat. The story is told in simple language and follows multiple plots: one for Catalina, one for Rathbone, and one for the Duke. Each plot converges with the other and each key character learns something important from the others. The animal characters are well developed and the plot is executed with multiple tangents which merge, then divide, and sometimes become confusing. There is a compelling storyline here and an important message for readers of all ages about equity and inclusion. This was an interesting tale and a cute story.

Maria Victoria Beltran

As a pampered cat in London, Catalina leads a life of luxury until the window washer steals her. She soon finds herself in a dire situation on a ship on the way to Baltimore, Maryland, and is eventually sold to a wealthy family on Fayette Street. In nearby Lombard Street lives Duke, whose owner has not returned home in the last three years. Without food and care, he waits for his beloved owner and survives with the help of the other street cats in the area. Catalina, influenced by the pampered cats Mackenzie and Makayla, looks down on the street cats until they are caught by three unsavory men to be sold at the flea market. A series of events will teach Catalina to look at others from the inside rather than from the outside.

Catalina and Duke of Lombard by Patricia Derrick is a modern-day fable that tells the adventures of the Siamese cats Catalina and Duke and the extraordinary events that brought them together. I find it refreshing that cats and rats, which we perceive as natural enemies, get along well in this fable. The characters are fascinating, and the main protagonists are lovable. Patricia Derrick’s descriptive literary style is vivid with attention to detail, so it’s easy to imagine Catalina, her spoiled friends Mackenzie, and Makayla, sashaying on Lombard Street with their fluffy tails. The moral lesson intended to be learned through reading the story is highly relevant and timely. Catalina and Duke of Lombard is a book that should appeal to readers of all ages!

Joy Hannabass

In Catalina and Duke of Lombard by Patrick Derrick, we discover that Catalina the cat lived a privileged life in her London neighborhood until the family window washer stole her. The next thing she knew, she was on a steamer headed for America. The thief had stolen her papers as well, and he was planning to sell her for enough money to start a new life in America. He found a buyer for Catalina, who then lived with her new mistress, Nanny Narcissa. With Nanny's grooming, and teaching Catalina in the park, she was soon able to get along with her new neighbors, street cats Pecos, Pierre, Pasquale, Perkins, and the Duke. They all liked Catalina, and would always follow her, keeping her safe. But would she be safe keeping company with street cats?

I dearly loved Catalina and Duke of Lombard by Patricia Derrick. I love cats too, so this book was just for me. I was sad when the window washer stole Catalina for selfish reasons. I can only imagine this poor cat and how scared she must have been living on the steamer, and later sold to a stranger. But Catalina was determined, so she was a good cat to her owner. I love that she met the alley cats and made friends with most of them. These cats couldn't help where they found themselves, and you will find a few surprises as you follow the story. The cats all protected each other and Catalina as well. Two thugs showed up in town. It was a bit scary when Catalina and two of her friends were tricked into a cage the thugs had set up, to be sold for top dollar at the flea market. It was quite a sight when the Duke gathered the street cats and Catalina's old long-time friend Rathborne the rat to rescue these fancy pampered cats. Read the book to find out what happens. If you are a cat lover this is a must-read for you and is a wonderful story to read to children.