Finnigan the Lionhearted

Children - Animals
166 Pages
Reviewed on 12/11/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I'm a Wisconsin writer, mom, grandma, cat mom, dog mom, and as of recently, retired lawyer!

The idea for the Finnigan the Circus Cat series came about because of two things in my family--one was a real rescue kitten that my son and his wife brought home one Christmas while they were still in college. Just like his fictional namesake, this new family member was literally the tiniest kitten I'd ever seen! And they named him Finnigan. Once he grew up, his personality, and his stripes, and long legs, and "mustache" reminded me of a circus performer in a leotard.

The OTHER thing was that my younger daughter is a contemporary circus aerialist, and so the circus was always floating around in the conversation. The two things eventually merged in my head, and the Circus Cat story came out. The narrator is one of the two mice that befriend Finnigan when he first arrives at the museum, and is really just my alter-ego as a smart-aleck ten year old. So I get to reconnect with my inner child every time I sit down to write about Finnigan!

A lot of inspiration has also come from the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin, which has an amazing collection of old circus wagons. I could spend days there admiring them. So when I started the series, I knew that one of the books--the second, Finnigan and the Lost Circus Wagon--was going to have to feature these wagons in a big way.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite

Finnigan the Lionhearted by Mary T. Wagner brings readers the adventure of attending a circus for the first time through the eyes of a little mouse, Maximillian. Max and his cousin, Leroy, grew up in the Farnsworth Circus Museum. When a circus comes to town, the mice and their friends, Finnigan the cat and Boomer the dog, take a trip across town to see the magical wonders of the circus. Max and Leroy love it all, but making a friend in Tiny the elephant definitely was amazing. Finnigan has always been fascinated by the big cats in his family and visits the king of the circus, Nero. With no thought of his own safety, Finnigan saves the circus from a terrible accident, showing that his heart is just as brave and strong as a lion.

Mary T. Wagner is one of those authors that weave adventure, charming creatures, and life skills into a story. Finnigan the Lionhearted shows bravery through a cat. This feline has made friends with the most unlikely creatures because he has a pure heart that overlooks everyone’s expectations. This book will bring the wonder and enchantment of a circus alive to children as they learn valuable lessons on friendship, being brave, and being kind. Using animals as the major characters keeps this book fun and delightful. This is the third book in the Finnigan the Circus Cat series that children will love to read. Overall, this is a captivating story that will encourage children to read and discover healthy friendship characteristics through fictional animals.