A Cat Called Trim
By Corinne Fenton and Illustrated by Craig Smith
A delightful and heartwarming picture book about Matthew Flinders’s cat, Trim, from best-selling creators Corinne Fenton and Craig Smith.
Trim was a cat born for adventure …
This is the true story of a courageous, mischievous and fearless cat called Trim, who sailed with Matthew Flinders on his voyages to map the coastline of Australia and beyond.
DolphinBooks – the children’s book blog:
A beautiful book full of wonderful illustrations and an amazing story of characters, events and a way of life that is not known to us today. Except that showing kindness, being brave and trusting remain good characteristics for anyone.
Read the entire review at DolphinBooks
Kid’s Book Review:
Corinne Fenton has a gift for reproducing real historical events. She uses her animal characters as centrepieces in her stories and builds exciting adventures around them. It’s a clever construction that aids retention of the historical facts. Her use of language is careful and considered with her repetition of sounds lifting and falling in rhythm when read.
Read the entire review at Kid’s Book Review
CBCA – Reading Time:
The story of the cat Trim’s has often been told. This time we learn a little more about how he became Matthew Flinders’ companion, and that sailor’s last days with him. Trim was born on the Reliance, saved from a watery death by Flinders, went with him on the Norfolk, then on the Investigator, the Porpoise and the Cumberland.. He travelled the world and was a part of Flinders’ crew when he mapped the coast of Australia. The endpapers have maps of his voyages around the world showing the compass of Flinders’ range. Trim also went to prison with his master, which was where his story ends.
Read the entire review at Reading Time
Sharon Greenaway – Wondrous Words:
Continuing on with her love of animals and a love of history, Fenton has retold in her own unique way another real life story, this one is about the famous explorer Matthew Flinders’ cat, Trim. Once again a terrific retelling of a true story. Children, particularly older ones, will get a lot from this story.
Read the entire review at Wondrous Words
Volume Thirty Four Page Thirty-six
Primary School Teacher/Librarian:
Thank you so much for inviting us to your beautiful launch of ‘A Cat Called Trim’ this morning.
How lucky we are to have authors and illustrators who are willing to do the genuine and authentic research which engages our little learners in history.
As I continue to support literacy in our schools I know that this is one of the most important areas for our students to engage in, and we so need more stories! Thank you for giving our kids access to history as personal narratives, these storylines are truly what builds roadmaps for their future, empathy for others, and an understanding of the world in which they live! Keep up the amazing work Corinne and team.
I loved A Cat Called Trim and will read it to all my Year 1s and 2s this week before they head off on holidays. I wonder if they might see a black cat on the holidays….
The Daily Telegraph – 11 April, 2019
Corinne was interviewed on Thursday, April 4 on 88.3 South FM and also on Monday, April 8 on ABC Hobart talking about this book.
Leesa Lambert, The Little Bookroom, Carlton North:
Six fantastic new picture books by Leanne Hall
A Cat Called Trim by Corinne Fenton & Craig Smith
Trim was the adventurous seafaring cat adopted by explorer Matthew Flinders, and this delightful picture book details his adventures with his owner in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Told firmly through Trim’s perspective, we witness daily details such as mouse-catching, fleas, making friends with humans, the joys of good food and rivalries with dogs and other cats, alongside dramatic events such as being thrown overboard, shipwrecks and imprisonment.
Back to overview
Seasoned illustrator Smith brings history to life with action-filled illustrations that detail all the areas of the ships, the shape of the heaving seas, the whirlwind cat fights and life on the islands. Tiny ship logos detail the relevant ship name and year: the HMS Reliance, HMS Norfolk, HMS Investigator, HMS Porpoise, and HMS Cumberland. A Cat Called Trim is the perfect balance of narrative and fact, celebrating a cat who valued loyalty, friendship and above all, the pursuit of adventure. For ages 5 and up.