Tibbles the Cat

Tibbles the Cat
Tibbles the Cat
Publisher Name
Albatros Media
Age Range
Release Date
December 05, 2023
Featuring quirky, vintage-inspired illustrations, this charming story tells the tale of a cat moving to a new island home, where things take an unexpected turn.
When a curious cat named Tibbles and her owner move across the world from England to a new home on a small island off the coast of New Zealand in 1894, everything seems idyllic at first. Then things go horribly wrong. In this charming little story, the oblivious, amusing hero, Tibbles, discovers a rare species of flightless bird that had never previously been described – the Stephens Island wren. Unfortunately, Tibbles also becomes the cause of the bird’s extinction by preying on them.

Beneath the surface of this whimsically told story is a sophisticated tragicomic plot with a foundation in Greek tragedy. Tibbles’s killing of the Stephens Island wrens led to the eventual extinction of the entire species, and the tragedy is heightened by the fact that Tibbles was not a malicious or malevolent creature, but rather a normal cat behaving according to its instincts. To add insult to injury, Tibbles is not only innocent and ignorant about the effects of her actions; she is also silly, care-free, and wildly unconcerned. This book presents a true story in a subtly comedic light, but the underlying tragedy is still present, emphasizing the unintended consequences of human actions on the environment.

Ultimately, the tale of Tibbles the cat had a silver lining – it brought global awareness to the dangers of introducing non-native animal species to other continents. Beautifully illustrated in a vintage style, with heavy graphic novel elements, this quirky, captivating tale will take readers on an emotional, darkly funny journey of discovery and consequence, all while teaching valuable lessons about the environment and the human impact on it. The book also includes interesting facts about the Stephens Island wren and its discovery.

Tibbles is perfect for children aged 6–9 inclined towards funny stories and deep lessons. Through this unique, engaging, and darkly comedic story, kids will be entertained as they learn about history and conservation, with humor being the sugar that helps the environmentalist medicine go down. Laughing one moment and considering serious issues the next, children will learn about the impact of humans on animal species and the importance of protecting wildlife.

Editor review

1 review
Overall rating
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Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What I liked:
Inspired by a true story, Tibbles the Cat explains the dangers of introducing non-native plants and animals to other parts of the world. It all begins in 1894 with Tibbles, an English cat that moves far away to Stephens Island with its owner. Over there, everything is new and wild, and the small animals are excited to hunt, bringing treasures. At first, David Lyall was very excited, as he is an ornithologist and shares his discoveries with the English scientific community. But they all understand that the little cat represents a danger to the native birds. A great way to share this topic with younger readers as they learn about native and non-native animals and their effects on the local ecosystem.
The vintage-inspired illustrations are truly mesmerizing!
Final Verdict:
Cute vintage-style art and an important story. This book reminds readers how non-native species can impact an environment—a severe subject presented lightly.
It is a great non-fiction book for young readers.
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