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  • Published: 29 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9781760894382
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99

Catvinkle and the Missing Tulips

Award-winning novelist Elliot Perlman’s second book of Catvinkle’s adventures is another wise, wonderful and warm-hearted tale.

When best friends Catvinkle and Ula are asked to defend two sheep accused of eating Amsterdam's tulips, they're not sure what to believe. The sheep say they're innocent, but they do look very sheepish.

To win this case, Catvinkle will need the help of a wolfhound, a llama, two travelling koalas, a pair of Russian bears . . . and a very special bird.

'An instant children’s classic' Sunday Age
'A gorgeous book guaranteed to give great joy' Better Reading
'Engaging and fun' Children’s Books Daily

  • Published: 29 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9781760894382
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99

About the authors

Elliot Perlman

Elliot Perlman’s Three Dollars won the Age Book of the Year Award, the Betty Trask Award (UK), the Fellowship of Australian Writers' Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn-Rhys/Mail On Sunday Book of the Year Award (UK) as well as for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Elliot Perlman also co-wrote the screenplay for the film of Three Dollars, which received the Australian Film Critics' Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as the A.F.I. Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Reasons I Won't Be Coming, a collection of stories, was a bestseller in the US where it was named a New York Times Book Review 'Editors' Choice' and received the Steele Rudd Award for the best Australian short story collection in its year of publication.

Perlman's second novel, Seven Types of Ambiguity, was a bestseller in France where it was described as 'one of the best novels of recent years, a complete success'(Le Monde). In Germany it was called a 'literary sensation' (Deutschlandradio), 'an impressive, iridescent all-encompassing view of feeling' (Der Spiegel), and described as having "the virtues of the great modern European novel' (Süddeutsche Zeitung). It was a bestseller in the United States where it was described as having 'traces of Dickens's range and of George Eliot's generous humanist spirit' (New York Times) and named a New York Times Book Review 'Editors' Choice', a New York Times Book Review 'Notable Book of the Year' and a Washington Post 'Editors' Choice' as well as one of its all-time dozen favourites 'on the pain of love'. In the UK it was described as 'a colossal achievement….a tour de force…(in which) at the end, in a comprehensive, an almost Shakespearian way, Perlman picks up every loose thread and knots it' (The Observer) and named a Sunday Telegraph 'Book of the Year'. In Australia it was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award as well as for the Queensland Premier's Award for Fiction.

Perlman’s bestselling The Street Sweeper, ‘Excellent . . . harrowing, humane and brilliant’ (The Times (UK)) ‘[is] a towering achievement: a strikingly modern literary novel.’ (Entertainment Weekly (US)) ‘. . . an epic tale that spans decades and bridges generations while chronicling the predominant chapters of racial persecution perpetrated in the darkest hours of the twentieth century . . . [wherein Perlman] shines a fresh light on the struggle of the American civil rights movement . . . The narrative pull is breathtaking [as he] pulls off the supreme feat of articulating the unspeakable . . . This stunning novel works and matters, because of the expert way Perlman has recorded both the agonized howl of the past and the plaintive echoes of the present’ (San Francisco Chronicle) in ‘[a] wonderfully rich, engaging and multilayered story . . . [from] an author of rare erudition and compassion.’ (The Washington Post) ‘[Perlman] brilliantly makes personal both the Holocaust and the civil rights movement, and crafts a moving and literate page-turner.’ (Publishers Weekly (starred review)) ‘[Here] Perlman burnishes his reputation as a masterful storyteller who captures the cadences of consciousness and conversation and the varieties and vagaries of cruelty, courage and compassion . . . You will, in all likelihood, find it unforgettable.’ (Jerusalem Post)

Elliot Perlman’s first novel for children, The Adventures of Catvinkle, ‘[is] an instant children’s classic, that you enjoy as much as the little ones you know, and that you start giving as a gift because of its inherent, feel-good message.’ (Sunday Age) ‘[A] charming and whimsical tale . . . [replete with] gentle lessons . . . about empathy, bravery and friendship . . . [a] simply a delightful and easy-to-read story with laugh-out-loud dialogue that doesn’t talk down to its readers.’ (Books+Publishing) ‘ . . . exactly the sort of book I loved being given as a child, a book you can cherish,’ (Sydney Morning Herald) ‘[where] themes of social inclusion, anti-racism and anti-bullying are treated gently in this delightful, easy-to-read story . . . [and t]here are many quirky, humorous moments . . .’ (Magpies) ‘A gorgeous book guaranteed to give great joy.’ (Better Reading) The Adventures of Catvinkle was a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book 2019, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Children’s Peace Literature Award.

Perlman’s Maybe the Horse Will Talk ‘[is a] thriller-like, stylish, compelling novel [that] manages at once to limn injustices wrought by corporate acquisitiveness, misogyny and discrimination, and to affirm the transformative capacity of empathy. And while there is a deep and steady seriousness . . . it is also funny as well as exhilarating and humane, pitching longing, love and kindness hopefully and inspiringly against violence.’ (Weekend Australian) [A] timely look at sexual harassment and corporate corruption that manages to be laugh-out-loud funny’ (Sydney Morning Herald) where ‘[t]he novelist’s mastery of the sentence is on full display in the rapid-fire dialogue between his characters . . . If Maybe the Horse will Talk stands apart in Perlman’s oeuvre for its intention to make readers smile, it continues the author’s interest in addressing social concerns through fiction.’ (The Saturday Age)

Elliot Perlman is the recipient of the Queensland Premier’s award for Advancing Public Debate and has been described by the Times Literary Supplement (UK) as ‘Australia’s outstanding social novelist’, by Le Nouvelle Observateur (France) as the ‘Zola d’Australie’ and by Lire (France) as ‘the classic of tomorrow’, one of the ‘50 most important writers in the world’.

Catvinkle and the Missing Tulips, a novel for children and a sequel to The Adventures of Catvinkle, is scheduled for publication in October 2020.

Laura Stitzel

Laura Stitzel is an independent artist in Melbourne, Australia. She has been working as an illustrator, animator and author in Australia and Canada since 2008.

Laura is an illustrator of children’s books including Elliot Perlman's The Adventures of Catvinkle (Penguin Random House), and her own picture books, Mr Mo Starts to Grow (Hachette Australia) and Moonlight Mums (Penguin Random House). Her art has also appeared in many children’s television series over the past decade. She has contributed background art and character animation to programs such as the Emmy Award winning Peg + Cat, Disney's Space Chickens in Space, Warner Bros'Ginger Snaps and the world's longest running children's series, Arthur.

Laura has also illustrated and animated for a wide range of media including commercials, short films, print media and television series for all ages.

Praise for Catvinkle and the Missing Tulips

If you, like me, loved the first Catvinkle book and couldn’t wait to share it with your kiddos, you will also love this new hilarious episode with all the crazy animal characters of the first plus some equally quirky new ones! . . . Aside from the humour there is a lot to think about around fairness and justice, compassion and loyalty and the critical endangered status of riverine rabbits (gotta love a story with bunnies in it!).

Sue Warren, Teacher Librarian, losangzopa.wordpress.com

[T]his second adventure in this series with its subtle message about inclusivity and acceptance is as delightful as the first, even to a non-cat person like me . . . As well as being an entertaining read for those who like something a bit different that is engaging, this also has an underlying theme of justice, fairness and those other qualities that are so important at this time to that age group that hasn’t quite discovered shades of grey and compromise yet. Even though Perlman has received many awards for his adult novels, he certainly knows how to spin a tale for children and these two together would make an excellent gift for newly independent readers who enjoy animal stories that are just good, clean fun.

Barbara Braxton, thebottomshelf.edublogs.org

Recommended . . . Throughout the story there are explicit lessons about empathy, fairness, inclusion, looking after the environment, telling the truth and doing whatever you can to stand up and speak up for others who are less fortunate. There is a timely reminder, too, about stopping to think whether information can be trusted, especially if you hear something bad about someone . . . This is an excellent message for students to absorb before they reach the age where they really start engaging with social media.

Kylie Gran, ReadPlus

I love the gentle and subtle humour of this book with many puns, irony, confusion over idioms and amusing dialogue and banter between the characters. The animals' perspectives on cultural references, such as classical tales and Rembrandt's Night Watch painting, are fun too. Laura Stitzel's lovely black and white pencil drawings add charm to the book and provide added context to the characters and settings. Perlman's enormous competence as a novelist is evident in the way he weaves thoughtful themes and witty humour into the story and develops characters with distinctive personalities.

Barbara Swartz, Reading Time

Discover more

Put yourself in someone else's shoes (or fur)

Bestselling author Elliot Perlman shares the inspiration behind his second children's book, Catvinkle and the Missing Tulips.

Catvinkle Activity Pack

Celebrating the launch of book two, Catvinkle and the Missing Tulips.