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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

#Book #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for The Midnight Kittens by Dodie Smith #DodieSmith #RedFox

TITLE: The Midnight Kittens
SERIES: The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Book #3
AUTHOR: Dodie Smith
PUBLICATION DATE: August 17, 1994 (first published 1978)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 122 pages
GENRE: Childrens
ISBN: 0099240602
One night, Pam and Tom put out a saucer of milk for the hedgehogs that live in the orchard, and sit watching at the window. Suddenly, on the stroke of midnight, four kittens appear, drink the milk, and then vanish again. Wherever have they come from? The twins are mystified - and decide to find out the secret behind their magical midnight visitors...


I really enjoy reading "old school" middle-grade fiction to my younger daughter. I picked this one up at a used book sale. It wasn't until the time that I wrote my review that I see from Goodreads that this is Book #3 in The Hundred and One Dalmatians series although the cover simply states that it is by the same author and makes no mention that it is a sequel. We haven't read the others in this series.

Ten-year-old orphaned twins, Pam and Tom, are heading by train to the grandmother's house to spend their half-term vacation with her. Grandmother tells the children about the hedgehogs that she has been feeding, and she places a saucer of milk with bread in it outside each evening. The children decide to stay up late to wait for them and catch a glimpse of the night-time visitors. They are surprised to see four kittens at the dish, with the hedgehogs waiting nearby for their turn.

The children don't want to tell their grandmother about the kittens because they feel that it will be "too much" for her because her cat Mogg recently died and she's not yet ready for another cat, much less four!

Grandmother tells the children about Freke Hall, a derelict mansion that has been vacant for some time but has now been recently sold. It will soon be opened up to the public for tours, and Grandmother wants to take the children to see it. They are told that there is a secret room in one of the halls.

This was a very odd story. My daughter and I laughed at how different things were then from today. The children, the same age as my daughter, were allowed to travel by train alone, and Gram didn't even pick them up at the station! Pam is an atheist and Tom is an agnostic and I'm still not quite clear on the relevance of their personal beliefs to the story! There are squatters that live in Freke Hall, and Pam and Tom go to Freke Hall on their own to search for the secret room. Gram leaves the children alone for long periods of time to tend to a sick friend and lets them stay up until midnight to watch for their furry visitors because that is the only time that they will come to visit which leads Pam to believe that the kittens are somehow magical. As I said, it is a peculiar story but Smith pulls most of the pieces together by the end of the book. I have no idea if any of this relates to the previous books in the series, but there was no mention of the dalmatians :)


3 stars!! It was good, and we enjoyed it!

This book qualifies as:


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