The Secret Cat

The Secret Cat

by Katarina Stromgard


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An imaginative book for anyone who’s ever wanted a pet

Lucy wants a pet more than anything, even though her mom always says no. But one night, Lucy hears a scratching sound from behind her wallpaper, and a ghostly cat named Silvring appears. Silvring takes Lucy on an adventure and introduces her to a world filled with secret pets just like hers. Not all the secret pets are as friendly as Silvring, though.

Filled with magical realism, this beautiful book will resonate with animal lovers of all ages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802855114
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Pages: 32
Product dimensions: 7.87(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
Lexile: 540L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

About the Author

Katarina Strömgård has illustrated —and in some cases written —over a dozen books for children. Her favorite books often inhabit the space between reality and fantasy. When she's not writing or drawing, Katarina enjoys visiting schools and libraries and holding workshops for children and adults. She lives with her family in Sweden. Visit her website at

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The Secret Cat 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who loves a good dose of magical realism, I found The Secret Cat to be a real treat. Written by Katarina Strömgård, this book depicts a young girl’s discovery of the secret world of invisible pets that comes to life during the night. One of my favorite things about this story is the way that the realism of the city was blended with the fantastical pets. Strömgård’s images are creative and comical, with a ballooning creature on a leash and a seal in a kiddie pool on one page followed by a queenly figure riding a polar bear on the next. It’s a great example of magical realism for young readers. Continuing with the imagery, the watercolor in this book is truly beautiful, especially in terms of how Strömgård uses shades of blue. You feel, as a reader, that you’ve become immersed in the secret world, and I especially appreciated how the transparency of the cat contrasted with the environment. However, one thing I will note is that this book has some sections that could be too frightening for some younger children. There’s a portion that depicts a large bird coming out from behind a building with a plague doctor in tow, and the bird is quite intimidating. As someone who, as a child, once made my mom tape a piece of paper over an only vaguely scary troll in a book, I know that a page like that would have been too much for my childhood self. I imagine the same is true for other children. That being said, the book also encourages bravery and shows the defeat of the bird, so this section could be equally encouraging, depending on the child. One last positive aspect of this story is the fact that it doesn’t shy around the restrictions that can come with being a child. The book’s focus on a child who is unable to get a pet due to space restrictions could be relatable for children in similar situations. Unlike some other stories, this child does not eventually get her beloved pet, but she does get to discover a way to cope with this fact, and that is an encouraging message.
Bookadancelady More than 1 year ago
The Secret Cat is a delightful story about the power of imagination. A little girl Desperately wants a pet but, as in the case in many families, it is just not possible. One night she hears a sound that could be the pet she wants. Does she get her wish? The illustrations are beautifully done and enhance the imagination of the little girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a visually stunning book that plays a cozy blue nighttime fantasy world against subtle reds for hope, danger, and safety. So many children would like a pet, but are told they can’t have one for a variety of reasons. That’s true for this book’s unnamed main character, but through her imagination, an ever-changing cat emerges and the two venture outside to see if the cat, Silvring (“the type of name you have to whisper”), will be the girl’s pet. Children who don’t like things that go bump in the night might be scared by the scratching behind the bedroom wallpaper that announces Silvring’s presence. But, the nighttime walk in the park where people are walking their ordinary, extraordinary, and secret pets might add a new wonder to the dark. Imagine if your secret pet was a seal, a pair of beautiful koi, a polar bear, or a creature only you recognize! Imagine if your secret pet was big enough and strong enough to protect you from Danger. And, imagine if every night your secret pet was just waiting for you to call.
clcooktx01 More than 1 year ago
The Secret Cat is a beautifully illustrated picture book for children. It’s a story about a little girl named Lucy who is not allowed to have a cat, so she invents an imaginary cat named Silvring as her pet. A lot of kids can relate to this story, whether they have an imaginary pet or an imaginary friend. The illustrations are perfect for nighttime reading. It might be a little scary for some younger readers though. The idea that there is an animal behind the wallpaper might not sit well with some little ones, especially if reading it before bed. Also, the illustrations of "The Danger” and the mention that some of the imaginary pets aren’t nice could scare some of the younger readers as well. My 9 year old was fine with it, but she’s also on the older end of the age range for this book. Overall, a very nice story. I would just read it first if you have a younger child.
Hooked18onbooks More than 1 year ago
Young readers will relate to THE SECRET CAT by Katarina Stromgard. Lucy wants a pet, but her mother won’t let her have a dog or cat and suggested an aquarium full of fish instead. This is Lucy’s reaction: “But fish aren’t real pets. Real pets have fur.” So she uses her imagination for a more satisfying outcome. However, a dialogue on “own voices” is in order. The author/illustrator is white and Swedish. Lucy and her mother are Black. The illustrations show this. One illustration suggests this story takes place in Sweden. The child’s name is hidden, located on the back cover. If the reader doesn’t learn that from the text. This is confusing. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The narrator of The Secret Cat, Lucy, wants a pet, but she’s not allowed. Late at night, she hears scratching in the wall, and out of the wallpaper (also featured in the endpages), comes a secret cat named Silvring. This secret cat isn’t like other cats. No, Silvring grows fast and big and isn’t quite as visible as regular cats. Silvring and Lucy go on a nighttime adventure and meet other secret pets, one of them big and dangerous. Silvring defends Lucy only to disappear come morning. For anyone who wants to ride a cat, for anyone who has a rich imagination, for anyone who has wanted a pet more than anything, pick up The Secret Cat by Katarina Strömgård. The illustrations are gorgeously rendered in blues and dreamily fading brushstrokes. The characters’ expressions are spot on. In one scene, the morning breakfast scene, Lucy and her mother are seated at the table and the careful observer can see so much about what is going on between the two, and then separately, each in their own thoughts. The text simply says, “In the morning, Silvring is gone.” The book finishes with another look at the wallpaper, and the secret cat hidden in the shadows, waiting for someone to whisper to its name. The book does a masterful job of blending the real and imaginary worlds of its main character.
JarmVee More than 1 year ago
What child hasn’t had an imaginary friend or wished for a pet? This author/illustrator has created images of pets (both real and imagined) in restful hues of pink and blue — perfect for nighttime reading! All children can relate to the diverse characters and longings for a pet, and the disappointment they feel when the request is refused. This fanciful story comes to a satisfying ending, leaving the reader ready for a peaceful sleep.
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
Many children have imaginary friends and this little girl has an imaginary pet - a cat. She is not allowed to have one so one appears behind the wallpaper of her bedroom and then emerges. She is a Secret Cat and so is different. So secret that she is there but she is not visible to anyone but the child. The child and secret cat set forth on a nighttime journey of the neighborhood and the cat grows, and grows, and becomes her fierce protector. I really like the book. I can see the story of an imaginary pet or imaginary playmate being there for a child since it is a mechanism many children employ for various reasons - loneliness, boredom, need. And I can see it as a way that children cope with a variety of issues. But this is a children's book. So while I really like it - story and beautiful art - I think parents should read it before purchasing it. If your child has nightmares, this might be problematic. Or if handled correctly, it might be a tool to help the child. Again, I really like the book. I wouldn't hesitate to read it to my children if it had been available while they were growing up. (And one of mine did have an imaginary friend.) There is nothing really scary even though there is another secret pet that is a meanie but this child's secret cat overcomes the "evil" pet so this is good. I recommend with consideration. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.