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Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny Linsky

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In Greenwich Village an orphaned black cat lives happily with her master, a sea captain. Still, the gentle Jenny Linsky would like nothing more than to join the local Cat Club, whose members include Madame Butterfly, an elegant Persian, the high-stepping Macaroni, and stately, plump Mr. President. But can she overcome her fears and prove that she, too, has a special gift? In Greenwich Village an orphaned black cat lives happily with her master, a sea captain. Still, the gentle Jenny Linsky would like nothing more than to join the local Cat Club, whose members include Madame Butterfly, an elegant Persian, the high-stepping Macaroni, and stately, plump Mr. President. But can she overcome her fears and prove that she, too, has a special gift? Join Jenny and her friends, including fearless Pickles the Fire Cat, on their spirited downtown adventures and discover why The Atlantic Monthly called Jenny "a personality ranking not far below such giants as Peter Rabbit."   AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES, THIS COLLECTION INCLUDES ESTHER AVERILL'S FIVE FAVORITE CAT CLUB STORIES


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In Greenwich Village an orphaned black cat lives happily with her master, a sea captain. Still, the gentle Jenny Linsky would like nothing more than to join the local Cat Club, whose members include Madame Butterfly, an elegant Persian, the high-stepping Macaroni, and stately, plump Mr. President. But can she overcome her fears and prove that she, too, has a special gift? In Greenwich Village an orphaned black cat lives happily with her master, a sea captain. Still, the gentle Jenny Linsky would like nothing more than to join the local Cat Club, whose members include Madame Butterfly, an elegant Persian, the high-stepping Macaroni, and stately, plump Mr. President. But can she overcome her fears and prove that she, too, has a special gift? Join Jenny and her friends, including fearless Pickles the Fire Cat, on their spirited downtown adventures and discover why The Atlantic Monthly called Jenny "a personality ranking not far below such giants as Peter Rabbit."   AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES, THIS COLLECTION INCLUDES ESTHER AVERILL'S FIVE FAVORITE CAT CLUB STORIES

30 review for Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny Linsky

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christine PNW

    Really, this a 3 1/2 star book. It's quite adorable. Really, this a 3 1/2 star book. It's quite adorable.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    As a child I absolutely adored Esther Averill's The Fire Cat , a poignant early-reader in which a street cat named Pickles found his purpose in life. But it was not until the New York Review Children's Collection began reprinting them that I was aware that Averill had written many stories detailing the adventures of the cats - Pickles amongst them - who lived in New York City's Greenwich Village. How sad that I didn't know about Jenny Linsky as a child, but how wonderful that this omission is As a child I absolutely adored Esther Averill's The Fire Cat , a poignant early-reader in which a street cat named Pickles found his purpose in life. But it was not until the New York Review Children's Collection began reprinting them that I was aware that Averill had written many stories detailing the adventures of the cats - Pickles amongst them - who lived in New York City's Greenwich Village. How sad that I didn't know about Jenny Linsky as a child, but how wonderful that this omission is finally being corrected! Viva NYRCC! Jenny and the Cat Club contains five short stories, originally published individually from 1944-1953, each detailing an adventure of shy Jenny Linsky, a little black cat who belongs to Captain Tinker, and who always wears a distinctive red scarf. In The Cat Club (1944), Jenny overcomes her shyness and discovers her "special gift." In Jenny's First Party (1948), Jenny, Pickles and Florio find their way to a dance party. In When Jenny Lost Her Scarf (1951) Jenny's precious red scarf is stolen by Rob the Robber dog. In Jenny's Adopted Brothers (1952) Jenny convinces Captain Tinker to rescue the homeless Checkers and Edward. And finally, in How the Brothers Joined the Cat Club (1953), Jenny conquers her jealousy, and helps her new brothers join the club... This was a wonderful collection of stories, and should prove entertaining for chapter-book readers who love animal stories. Heartwarming and very satisfying, the story of Jenny - a shy little cat who needs a little help sometimes, but who has a good heart, and always does the best she can - offers the reader some simple truths, clothed in a gentle story. And of course, Averill's illustrations are adorable...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura Harrison

    Best series EVER. Period.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    Very fun read-aloud. The kid at first thought she wouldn’t like it. But I knew she couldn’t resist cats.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Smitten in five chapters: Chapter 1. The Cat Club, in which we meet Jenny Linsky, the shy and diminutive black cat who lives with Captain Tinker in a brick house with ivy on it in New York City, and in which Jenny Linsky meets the intimidating-at-first Cat Club, whose emblem bears the motto, "Loyalty, Fidelity, Truth, Dues." Chapter 2. Jenny's First Party, in which we learn that going to a trendy party in New York City is much the same if you are a shy little person or a shy little cat. Chapter 3. Smitten in five chapters: Chapter 1. The Cat Club, in which we meet Jenny Linsky, the shy and diminutive black cat who lives with Captain Tinker in a brick house with ivy on it in New York City, and in which Jenny Linsky meets the intimidating-at-first Cat Club, whose emblem bears the motto, "Loyalty, Fidelity, Truth, Dues." Chapter 2. Jenny's First Party, in which we learn that going to a trendy party in New York City is much the same if you are a shy little person or a shy little cat. Chapter 3. When Jenny Lost Her Scarf, in which we learn -- or, are reminded, really -- that dogs are terrible scamps that ought furthermore never to be trusted with a box of matches, and that cats are extremely heroic, noble, and selfless creatures much deserving of honor. Chapter 4. Jenny's Adopted Brothers, in which we encounter two worthy and humble cats in search of a loving home and witness Jenny's emotional turmoil as she encounters the cognitive dissonance of heartfelt love and charity comingled with spikes of jealousy. Chapter 5. How the Brothers Joined the Cat Club, which features an endearingly illustrated poem about a pirate cat, and then ends rather abruptly.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth K.

    I haven't read the Jenny Linsky books since I was a kid, and they are still mostly charming, but I now notice there is also a measure of "weirdly random AF" in there. I know the author talked about how she based the cats on various cats owned by her and friends, but I am 100% convinced there were also a bunch of times when she and her friends were sitting around Greenwich Village, drunk they way people could only get in Greenwich Village in the 1940s, and some guy named Alfie would put a feather I haven't read the Jenny Linsky books since I was a kid, and they are still mostly charming, but I now notice there is also a measure of "weirdly random AF" in there. I know the author talked about how she based the cats on various cats owned by her and friends, but I am 100% convinced there were also a bunch of times when she and her friends were sitting around Greenwich Village, drunk they way people could only get in Greenwich Village in the 1940s, and some guy named Alfie would put a feather duster on his head and dance around, and everyone would titter (I suspect there was a lot of tittering) "Oh Alfie, you're too much! Esther, you have to put that in one of those cat books!" And then they laughed and laughed. I am pleased, though, that this really holds my kid's attention -- long chapter books don't always hold her attention, and she seems fascinated by the antics of the cats.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    I love these wonderful stories about Jenny Linsky, a little black cat who lives with her sea-captain owner (who teaches her the hornpipe). I hadn't read these for a really, really long time. I used to get them out of the library all the time when I was seven or eight, but I couldn't even remember the author's name until I ran across this reissue listed in a Common Reader catalog and rejoicingly ordered it. And you know what? The stories are just as lovely as I remembered them, with simple and ch I love these wonderful stories about Jenny Linsky, a little black cat who lives with her sea-captain owner (who teaches her the hornpipe). I hadn't read these for a really, really long time. I used to get them out of the library all the time when I was seven or eight, but I couldn't even remember the author's name until I ran across this reissue listed in a Common Reader catalog and rejoicingly ordered it. And you know what? The stories are just as lovely as I remembered them, with simple and charming illustrations by the author. How nice to revisit a childhood favorite that stands up to the test of time -- Liam and I just finished reading this, and he loved the stories too.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Beautiful book! Lovely collection of different stories inside. A very lovely and precious book! I’ve grown up with Jenny Linskey and she holds a special place in my heart. Would recommend to cat lovers ! 😺

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara Holloway

    Super cute, pretty chill. I’d rather 4.5 stars. In the same universe as The Fire Cat (who makes an appearance). The drama is very quaint.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Gentle but charming stories. Kids will probably love them, but I think a lot of adults will appreciate them too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    I am kicking myself for taking so long to get to this delightful little book because I could have been handing it to kids and their parents and grandparents for YEARS and telling them all with complete honestly that it would be perfect for them. This is bookseller gold, my friends. It is about a sweet, shy little cat with hidden reserves of strength and courage. So, essentially, the perfect proxy for a kid who likes animals and wants a little adventure story. The writing is simple, clean, and lo I am kicking myself for taking so long to get to this delightful little book because I could have been handing it to kids and their parents and grandparents for YEARS and telling them all with complete honestly that it would be perfect for them. This is bookseller gold, my friends. It is about a sweet, shy little cat with hidden reserves of strength and courage. So, essentially, the perfect proxy for a kid who likes animals and wants a little adventure story. The writing is simple, clean, and lovely, and the illustrations are just one mid-century delight after another.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heila

    Even though I really liked the re-issued cover of this book (original copyrights '44-'53), at first I thought it'd be too soft and floofy. But I should've remembered there's always a reason certain books stick around in people's memories and hearts. Wrapped in gentleness and yes, softness, there are astute and universal and important aspects of life and character, friendship and the harmful kind of pride in these tales about Jenny & her other cat friends. She is a "small and shy" black cat who i Even though I really liked the re-issued cover of this book (original copyrights '44-'53), at first I thought it'd be too soft and floofy. But I should've remembered there's always a reason certain books stick around in people's memories and hearts. Wrapped in gentleness and yes, softness, there are astute and universal and important aspects of life and character, friendship and the harmful kind of pride in these tales about Jenny & her other cat friends. She is a "small and shy" black cat who in one story, with difficulty uses all of her facilities to be brave and unselfish - and then is honored for that with a special ceremony "for always doing the best you can." It even gets better from there. It's all really very enjoyable & part of that is because of no moralizing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julie Suzanne

    There are only 3 stories left in our huge collection of the Best Children's Books of the 20th Century, from which we've been pulling stories at bedtime sporadically since Morgan was 2. Last night, we decided to finish it off. Now, Morgan is crazy about cats. However, we both felt this was the most pointless, boring, and poorly written piece of literature that we have ever seen. We had to force ourselves to finish just so that we can say we've finished out the whole collection, but had more fun d There are only 3 stories left in our huge collection of the Best Children's Books of the 20th Century, from which we've been pulling stories at bedtime sporadically since Morgan was 2. Last night, we decided to finish it off. Now, Morgan is crazy about cats. However, we both felt this was the most pointless, boring, and poorly written piece of literature that we have ever seen. We had to force ourselves to finish just so that we can say we've finished out the whole collection, but had more fun demonstrating our boredom with monotone voices, eye-rolling, and mime-gagging than anything else. Ugh! I don't recommend this, even to kids who love cats!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tweety

    I love this book! If I hadn't seen in in my recommendations I'd probably never have remembered the name. But I remember Jenny! With her red scarf and silver skates she is a cat to remember. I love this book so much that I'm going to search my shelves and the library to find it again, it's nostalgic. One of my childhood favorites. And the illustrations are beautiful, whimsical and sweet the suit this story to a T. I love this book! If I hadn't seen in in my recommendations I'd probably never have remembered the name. But I remember Jenny! With her red scarf and silver skates she is a cat to remember. I love this book so much that I'm going to search my shelves and the library to find it again, it's nostalgic. One of my childhood favorites. And the illustrations are beautiful, whimsical and sweet the suit this story to a T.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ginny

    This is the first chapter book I read on my own. Not sure how old I was, but I remember my mom finding me reading it on our screened in porch and how excited I was to tell her I could read it myself. It holds a special place in my heart.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elena Kennedy

    My 5 year old daughter just LOVED this book. Right when we finished the last page, she turned to the first page and directed me to "start again!" Great for a chapter a night. Can't wait to read another from the series. My 5 year old daughter just LOVED this book. Right when we finished the last page, she turned to the first page and directed me to "start again!" Great for a chapter a night. Can't wait to read another from the series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    What a great book for girls, cat lovers, and/or anyone adopted. You can read this to kids as young as 4, but it's also a great chapter book for the K-3rd grade crowd. I'll never look at a black cat without thinking "Jenny Linsky!" What a great book for girls, cat lovers, and/or anyone adopted. You can read this to kids as young as 4, but it's also a great chapter book for the K-3rd grade crowd. I'll never look at a black cat without thinking "Jenny Linsky!"

  18. 4 out of 5

    Earl

    This was a book I'd only heard about since working at the bookstore. It's been super popular which is surprising considering it is a much older title. This collection of stories features mild-mannered feline Jenny Linsky and her friends. Perfect for young readers and read-alouds. This was a book I'd only heard about since working at the bookstore. It's been super popular which is surprising considering it is a much older title. This collection of stories features mild-mannered feline Jenny Linsky and her friends. Perfect for young readers and read-alouds.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emma Mcpherson

    I thought this book was good because it had a bunch more stories about Jenny the cat. My favorite is Jenny's party because Jenny, Pickles and another cat all dress up. I thought this book was good because it had a bunch more stories about Jenny the cat. My favorite is Jenny's party because Jenny, Pickles and another cat all dress up.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Whitaker

    A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for

  21. 5 out of 5

    Keri

    Adorable and charming! Read with my daughter when she was five, perfect for ages 4-7.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Loved this book. Such quirky fun. The illustrations are charming. Bea and I both devoured it. Re-read with Bea -age 13 now - She liked it as a simple, cute break from some of the more heavy stuff we've been reading. I found it harder to get through now -- too simple. But the subject matter and illustrations are still charming. Loved this book. Such quirky fun. The illustrations are charming. Bea and I both devoured it. Re-read with Bea -age 13 now - She liked it as a simple, cute break from some of the more heavy stuff we've been reading. I found it harder to get through now -- too simple. But the subject matter and illustrations are still charming.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha

    an old childhood favorite that never gets dull

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Absolutely delightful!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maddie Jeter

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I just recently learned that this book was actually published in 1940s. However, the fact that this book was written over 50 years does not decrease the significant impact of this story that it had on me! It is actually a group of short stories about Jenny Linksy the cat and her adventures, but as a child, I just assumed that these different sections were just different chapters. This was my favorite book as a child! I must have read this story over one hundred times when I was younger. Heck, so I just recently learned that this book was actually published in 1940s. However, the fact that this book was written over 50 years does not decrease the significant impact of this story that it had on me! It is actually a group of short stories about Jenny Linksy the cat and her adventures, but as a child, I just assumed that these different sections were just different chapters. This was my favorite book as a child! I must have read this story over one hundred times when I was younger. Heck, sometimes I pull it out of my memory box and read it today, but it makes me cry now. This story is about a shy orphaned cat named Jenny Linksy who gets adopted by her owner, Captain Tinker. Captain Tinker knits her a little red scarf, which gives her a little bit of confidence to walk outside and talk with other cats in the neighborhood In her adventures outside, she finds a group of cats that are part of the neighborhood "Cat Club". Each of the cats in the Cat Club has a special trait, but Jenny is discouraged because a cat must have a "special trait" to be a part of this club. Throughout the story, she watches the other cats exhibit their special traits and becomes discouraged because of her shyness and frustrated with herself that she feels that she cannot fit in. During one of Cat Club events in which the cats meet up with other cats and "party" under a full moon (an innocent cat party, no alcohol involved), Jenny separates herself and "cries" because she feels like she will never have a special talent like the rest of the cats. During this state of sadness, she hears a rhythm and begins to dance a great dance called the "little sailor's hornpipe dance". It is here that she begins to break out of her fur, so to speak, and gain confidence. At one part of this series of story, Jenny loses her beloved red scarf, which was stolen by a dog ,ironically, named Robber. As anybody would be over losing an invaluable homemade gift, Jenny becomes deeply saddened by this loss. Her friend, Pickles, who is also a firefighter, is able to sneak into Robber's home during a house fire and retrieve the beloved scarf. Having good friends who will help you when you are down is so valuable in life! In the last two stories, Jenny meets two stray cats named Checkers and Edward. Jenny, although she wishes to live alone with Captain Tinker, introduced these cats to him. Captain Tinker take them into his home and they become Jenny's brothers. Jenny introduces her new brothers to the cat club and helps them become members. Checkers talent is that he retrieves things and Edward is a poet. How cute! I wish my cat had those talents. Unfortunately, she just likes to eat... all the time. Now you can see why this story makes me cry!! I am sure that we can all relate to Jenny and her insecurities throughout the story. I know for me, I oftentimes feel that I am not good enough. As a child, I felt like I never fit in with the groups at school. Sure I had a few friends, but I did not feel like I had any special talents. Moreover, sometimes we have to give up certain luxuries (like Jenny having Captain Tinker to herself) to help the greater good of others (adopting Edward and Checkers). There are so many great life lessons in this story that are valuable for all generations!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Borrowed from Isabel's bookcase and read to Ernie as bedtime stories. We were both enchanted with Jenny Linsky, the diminutive black cat with a red scarf who lives with Captain Tinker and joins the local Cat Club by learning to ice skate. I especially love that Jenny is not immune to human (and, arguably, cat) feelings like jealousy, guilt, selfishness, fear, etc. Jenny faces these and more as she faces small-scale, stressful-but-not-scary (to little readers) dilemmas such as how to enjoy hersel Borrowed from Isabel's bookcase and read to Ernie as bedtime stories. We were both enchanted with Jenny Linsky, the diminutive black cat with a red scarf who lives with Captain Tinker and joins the local Cat Club by learning to ice skate. I especially love that Jenny is not immune to human (and, arguably, cat) feelings like jealousy, guilt, selfishness, fear, etc. Jenny faces these and more as she faces small-scale, stressful-but-not-scary (to little readers) dilemmas such as how to enjoy herself at a dance party from which she is cruelly excluded; whether it's too demanding to ask her firefighting cat friend to look for her scarf when the den of dogs who stole it catches fire (the fire cat is Pickles, who has his own, also excellent stories); and the shock of realizing that helping two homeless brother cats be adopted into her home means sharing the lap of Captain Tinker, who has always been solely hers. In other words, Jenny's stories are everyday stories of social anxieties that are relatable to children, openly examined with full regard for all good and bad emotions, and are sweetly solved. Amazing that these subtle stories written from 1944-1952 continue to provide a better learning experience, not to mention entertainment, for children than books that directly address feelings and behaviors. Also, easy to read aloud -- and so fun to remember each picture from my own childhood every time I turned a page.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    "Meow and a purr! We want her! Jenny! Jenny! Jenny!" I have fond memories of Jenny and her friend the fire house cat from my time as a beginning reader, but I had forgotten just how many of these stories Esther Averill wrote and illustrated. This book combines five stories: The Cat Club, Jenny's First Party, When Jenny Lost Her Scarf, Jenny's Adopted Brothers, and How the Brother's Joined the Cat Club. There is a kindness and gentleness to these stories that really warms one's heart and makes one "Meow and a purr! We want her! Jenny! Jenny! Jenny!" I have fond memories of Jenny and her friend the fire house cat from my time as a beginning reader, but I had forgotten just how many of these stories Esther Averill wrote and illustrated. This book combines five stories: The Cat Club, Jenny's First Party, When Jenny Lost Her Scarf, Jenny's Adopted Brothers, and How the Brother's Joined the Cat Club. There is a kindness and gentleness to these stories that really warms one's heart and makes one smile. Children will relate to the cats, which are adorably illustrated, and the situations Jenny deals with such as making friends, jealousy of siblings, learning new skills, etc. This edition also includes an introduction by Averill who reveals that Jenny and the Cat Club were real pets in her neighborhood. That is, there really was a cat named Jenny who wore a red scarf that was handmade by her owner. Although the book is about 150 pages, each story is a reasonable length for budding readers or for adults to read aloud to children at bedtime, so no one will get too frustrated. But, I still prefer the original editions that contain just one story for children as this edition really feels like a chapter book, rather than a reader or picture book. If you want to be totally PC, one of the cats does where an "Indian feathered headdress" in one of the stories, but otherwise, the text and illustrations hold up very well for stories that were written in the 1940s & 1950s.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I still love this book as much as I did when I first read it in second grade. I love that it's still in print in a relatively new hardback edition, but I love it even more that my dad found my old paperback given to me by Mrs. Johnson, my second grade teacher! She was a marvelous teacher, and she loved to encourage her students to read, read, read. She also encouraged me -- the smallest, shyest kid in the class -- to relate to shy cat Jenny Linksy, the heroine of this lovely book both written an I still love this book as much as I did when I first read it in second grade. I love that it's still in print in a relatively new hardback edition, but I love it even more that my dad found my old paperback given to me by Mrs. Johnson, my second grade teacher! She was a marvelous teacher, and she loved to encourage her students to read, read, read. She also encouraged me -- the smallest, shyest kid in the class -- to relate to shy cat Jenny Linksy, the heroine of this lovely book both written and illustrated by the very talented Esther Averill.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    Sweet story about a very shy young cat and making friends. Very British and somewhat antiquated tone. I thought it was charming - instant memories of my childhood and books read. Miss 4 wasn't too fussed; we read the first story and she didn't want the rest. Miss 4 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new Sweet story about a very shy young cat and making friends. Very British and somewhat antiquated tone. I thought it was charming - instant memories of my childhood and books read. Miss 4 wasn't too fussed; we read the first story and she didn't want the rest. Miss 4 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new & favourite authors.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Ben loved this - the chapters are long (I think there are only 4 or 5) and they’re really each a short story. This is perfect for a kid just starting to listen to longer books, without much recall of what happened before. Lots of gentle adventures and lessons in friendship and kindness. We’ll definitely get another in the series.

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