A cat with no home patiently waits for his dearest friend in this beautiful and emotional read. Best to have the tissues ready.
Born in a park, Waverley is loved by everybody; the postman serves him breakfast, old Mrs McKinnon provides lunch and he enjoys afternoon tea with the soldiers at the Castle. Best of all though is being looked after by his friend Donald. Life is good until Donald has to go away to fight in the war. At Edinburgh Station, Waverley waits. And waits. And waits. Years go by but Waverley refuses to give up. He knows that home is where Donald is. But will the two ever be reunited…
Inspired by a real person and actual events - more of which is detailed at the end of the book - A Cat Called Waverley is a poignant, moving and powerful story that explores homelessness, the effects of war, the difficulty soldiers face in returning to civilian life and the comfort that pets can bring. The story is told from two viewpoints and as we join Waverley on his search and patient wait for Donald at the station we simultaneously join Donald on the battlefields and see the horrors of war.
Written and illustrated with sympathy, empathy and understanding, Debi Gliori offers a striking and thought-provoking representation of homelessness and implores the reader to think about war and the consequences it has on those it leaves behind. Waverley might be homeless but his existence is one of regular meals, a warm bed for the night and rides on trains; kindness and compassion surround the little cat. This is a stark comparison to Donald’s situation, who returns from war to find his home has been knocked down and having to adjust to life on the streets. Wrapped in a blanket, war medals on display and begging for a few coins to survive, Donald cuts a lonely figure as people barely give him the time of day as they get on with their own lives. It is strange how we open our hearts and homes to animals yet turn the cold shoulder to a fellow person in need.
Sketched in pencil, the artwork is gorgeous with Waverley’s ginger fur and Donald’s orange coloured hair standing out wonderfully and binding the two together. Despite the darkness that surrounds Waverley and Donald, enduring and heartwarming themes of love, loyalty and friendship burn brightly throughout.
Whilst gently tugging at the heart strings, Waverley and Donald offer the perfect opportunity for conversations about homelessness, PTSD and war and will help children to learn to empathise with those that find themselves without a roof over their heads.
Recommended for 7+.