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The Cat and the Captain

Trim the Cat and Matthew Flinders
Will Matthew Flinders find fame and fortune? This intrepid explorer circumnavigated and charted the coast of Australia between 1802 - 1803 accompanied by his mischievous but faithful cat, Trim. Faced with a leaking ship, stormy seas, sickness and an unknown land, Matthew and Trim overcome every obstacle until they are shipwrecked on the Great Barrier Reef. Their adventures don’t stop there. After surviving the shipwreck they sail to Mauritius where they are imprisoned by the French as spies. What will become of them?
Ruth Taylor was born by the sea in Bournemouth, Dorset, setting a trend of attachment to oceans for the rest of her life. At the age of two she became a Ten Pound POM – sailing to Australia with her family on the Assisted Passage Scheme. Matthew Flinders was a familiar historical figure to Ruth living in Melbourne, where she trained as a nurse. Returning to the UK she worked on a Greek passenger liner. After studying medicine at Sheffield University she qualified as a doctor in 1978, and as an obstetrician and gynaecologist in 1983. She retrained as a GP, working on cruise ships in her holidays until 2015. Researching the role of cats on ships in the National Maritime Museum, London, she came across Flinders and Trim and decided that their story had to be told for children. She lives in London with her husband and a rescue cat, who is very like Trim. Illustrator: David Parkins was born in Brighton, but moved to Grantham, Lincolnshire at the age of five. He didn’t take up art until sixth form. He studied Wildlife Illustration at Dyfed College of Art for a year, before switching to graphic design at Lincoln College of Art, specialising in illustration. Graduating in 1979, he became a freelance illustrator. Parkins worked for the publisher D.C. Thomson on Beano and The Dandy during the 1990s and beyond. Throughout his career he has drawn cartoons for a number of papers. In 2006, he emigrated to Ontario, Canada and currently illustrates children’s books, his total standing at over fifty.
* Will appeal to history and animal lovers alike. An exciting account of a daring duo’s epic, real-life adventures. * Explorers and pioneers are studied on the school curriculum. Extensive teaching notes, including discussion questions, quizzes and craft activities, are available on the Little Steps website. * A topical title as plans are afoot to re-inter Flinder’s recently discovered remains in his birthplace of Donington, Lincolnshire, followed by a memorial service at Lincoln Cathedral.

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