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Carbonel: The King of the Cats facts for kids

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Carbonel: the King of the Cats
BarbaraSleigh CarbonelTheKingOfTheCats.jpg
First US edition
Author Barbara Sleigh
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Carbonel series
Genre Children's novel
Publisher Max Parrish (UK)
Bobbs-Merrill (US)
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Followed by The Kingdom of Carbonel 

Carbonel: the King of the Cats is a children's book by Barbara Sleigh published in 1955 by Max Parrish in England and Bobbs-Merrill in the US. It is based on a folk tale from the British Isles "The King of the Cats" has two sequels, The Kingdom of Carbonel (Puffin, 1961) and Carbonel and Calidor: Being the Further Adventures of a Royal Cat (Kestrel Books, 1978), making up the Carbonel series. The first edition of Carbonel was illustrated by V. H. Drummond, and of Kingdom by D. M. Leonard.

Plot summary

A girl named Rosemary buys a broom and a cat from Mrs Cantrip, an untidy woman in the market place. When to Rosemary's surprise the cat starts talking to her, she learns that the woman is a witch, selling her possessions to start a new career.

Moreover, the cat, Carbonel, just happens to be King of the Cats, presumed missing by his subjects since the witch abducted him. Unfortunately, he cannot return to his throne until the enslavement spell Mrs Cantrip cast on him is undone. Rosemary, together with a new friend John, have to learn a little witchcraft themselves before tracking down Mrs Cantrip to obtain her at best ambivalent help.

Main characters

  • Rosemary Brown – who buys Carbonel
  • Carbonel – the cat protagonist
  • Rosemary's mother – a poor widow and seamstress
  • Mrs Cantrip – kidnapper of Carbonel and a (semi-retired) witch
  • John – Rosemary's friend, and the nephew of Mrs Brown's employer
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