On the Horizon – cleo and cornelius: a tale of two cities and two kitties (Elizabeth Nicholson, Janine Pibal, Nick Geller, Michelle Thies)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this children’s fiction eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here are me honest musings . . .

cleo and cornelius: a tale of two cities and two kitties (Elizabeth Nicholson, Janine Pibal, Nick Geller, Michelle Thies)

Title: cleo and cornelius: a tale of two cities and two kitties

Authors: Elizabeth Nicholson, Janine Pibal, & Nick Geller

Illustrator: Michelle Thies

Publisher: Getty Publications

Publication Date: Tomorrow! (hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1947440036

Source: NetGalley

The recommend age for this yarn be 3 – 5 years of age.  But I firmly believe I should be allowed to read whatever I want and this captured me fancy for five reasons:

  1. cats;
  2. history;
  3. illustrations;
  4. the cool title; and
  5. it was said to be a town mouse / country mouse retelling.

Sign me up!  Apparently the book was:

inspired by the exhibition Beyond the Nile: Eqypt and the Classical World at the J. Paul Getty Museum.  The exhibition explores artistic and cultural exchange among Egypt, Greece, and Rome from the Bronze Age through the decline of the Roman Empire.

The exhibit has over 200 artifacts and some of them show up in the pages of this book!  That’s pretty neat.  As the exhibit is in Los Angeles through September 9th and I be on the opposite U.S. coast, it doesn’t seem likely that I will get to see this exhibit in person.  But ye can check out some of the pieces on display by clicking here to see the selected works on the museum’s website.

While the book illustrations are truly lovely, there isn’t much of an actual plot.  I didn’t really get a town mouse / country mouse vibe at all.  Both cats are from Egypt and visit Rome.  It isn’t a cat from each city sharing it with the other.  I believe I would have preferred that (or is it purrfurred?  hardy har har!).  But I do believe children would like the illustrations and if they are in the projected age range then they likely are readin’ this with the help of an adult anyway.  I, of course, liked the “Notes to the Reader” section with additional facts about the time period.  So overall the illustrations are what makes this read worthwhile.  The story – not so much.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Getty Publications!

Goodreads has this to say about the book:

Adventurous Cleo and couch potato Cornelius live in ancient Egypt, where cats are worshipped like gods and goddesses. After Cornelius accidentally boards a boat departing on a voyage across the sea, Cleo and Cornelius find themselves in the faraway city of Rome, a place where dogs are treated like kings.  In Rome, the activities never end! Cleo and Cornelius race chariots, play games, perform in a theater, and more. Do they even want to return to Egypt? A spin on Aesop’s classic fable “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” Cleo and Cornelius is teeming with hungry hippos, toga-clad dogs, and dancing cat mummies, bringing new excitement to a timeless tale.

To visit the authors’ websites go to:

Elizabeth Nicholson – Author

Janine Pibal – Author

Nick Geller

To visit the illustrator’s website go to:

Michelle Thies – Illustrator

To buy the book please visit:

cleo and cornelius: a tale of two cities and two kitties – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

9 thoughts on “On the Horizon – cleo and cornelius: a tale of two cities and two kitties (Elizabeth Nicholson, Janine Pibal, Nick Geller, Michelle Thies)

  1. It looks super cute! From the synopsis I think the town mouse/country mouse thing is because in Egypt cats are more important but in Rome dogs are more important. It would work better if there was a companion story where dogs go from Rome to Egypt.

    But now I need to look up whether or not dogs really were “treated like kings” in Rome…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did find it interesting that dogs were well treated in Rome. Makes sense because of the Romulus and Remus story but I hadn’t ever thought about it. I dear hear that some Romans liked their dogs enough to bury them and give them graves. Still happens today!
      x The Captain


      1. It seems the Egyptians buried their dogs too (makes sense, given their gods had the heads of various animals). They just didn’t treat them quite as well as cats. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That website be awesome! I had insomnia and I went and read about cats, dogs, cuneiform tablets (I have a mild obsession), Aethelflaed, and other things. I bookmarked it for further reading. I wanted to do archaeological digs when I was younger then realized I had no patience for it. But I do still like looking for buried treasure every now and again. Arrr!
        x The Captain

        Liked by 1 person

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