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Children's Fiction Cats


by (author) Marie-Louise Gay

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Jul 2005
Cats, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, New Experience
Recommended Age
2 to 6
Recommended Grade
k to 1
Recommended Reading age
2 to 6
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2005
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


Winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award

Caramba is a fat, furry, striped cat with a big problem. Every single cat in the world can fly, he sighs, except me!

Caramba would love to swoop and glide between the clouds, to feel the wind whistling through his fur. He tries to soar into the sky over and over again but always lands flat on his face, until finally he sadly accepts that he is earthbound. Don't be such a scaredy-cat, cry his cousins. All cats are meant to fly! They grab his paws and whisk him up into the sky for an impromptu flying lesson that ends with a big splash and a surprising discovery.

Award-winning author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay, best known for her Stella and Sam books, brings us an endearing character in Caramba, a sweet, shy cat who bravely accepts that he is different, and then discovers his own special talent.

About the author

MARIE-LOUISE GAY has achieved international acclaim as an author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won many awards, including two Governor General’s awards, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Marie-Louise’s very popular Stella and Sam series has been translated into more than fifteen languages and is loved by children all over the world. Her recent books include Any Questions? and Short Stories for Little Monsters. She lives in Montreal.

Marie-Louise Gay's profile page


  • Winner, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award (CCBC)
  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection)
  • Winner, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award

Editorial Reviews

...this book is a feast for the eye...(it) will be a balm for all who feel different.

Globe and Mail

...a fun tale about self-esteem and individuality that will amuse children and adults alike. Highly Recommended.

Canadian Children's Literature - CBRA

...memorable and heart-warming.

Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Young self-doubters will take heart from this imaginative reworking of an enduring theme, illustrated in Gay's delicate, appropriately splashy watercolors.


Gay's round and fuzzy flying cats make a cheerful backdrop as Caramba discovers what it is he can do that no one else can: swim like a fish.

New York Times

Gay is Canada's presiding genius of children's illustration....Caramba is a visual joy, filled with the washed blues and purples of an ocean sky, the crisp, clear green of wavelets, and the rush of summer clouds.

Quill & Quire

[Gay's expressive watercolours [and] outstanding underwater scenes...extend the story and bring life to the characters and text. Highly Recommended.

Library Media Connection, STARRED REVIEW

...a heartfelt tale that feels breezy and, like Caramba in his new element, light as a feather.

Horn Book

This is a delightful tale for young readers, who will fall in love with the colorful illustrations and endearing new characters.

Childhood Education Magazine

Librarian Reviews


Award-winner Marie-Louise Gay introduces an endearing new character – a sweet, shy cat who bravely accepts that he is different, and then discovers his own special talent.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2006.

Other titles by Marie-Louise Gay

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