Picture of author.

Esther Averill (1902–1992)

Author of The Fire Cat

30+ Works 4,453 Members 64 Reviews 6 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Esther Trosow

Series

Works by Esther Averill

The Fire Cat (1960) 2,551 copies
Jenny and the Cat Club (1973) 571 copies
The School for Cats (1947) 190 copies
Jenny Goes to Sea (1957) 176 copies
The Hotel Cat (1969) 166 copies
Jenny's Moonlight Adventure (1949) 161 copies
Jenny's Birthday Book (1954) 151 copies
Captains of the City Streets (1972) 135 copies
The Fire Cat (1700) — Author — 51 copies
Daniel Boone (1931) 46 copies
Jenny's Adopted Brothers (1952) 21 copies
Jenny's Bedside Book (1959) 15 copies

Associated Works

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Birthdate
1902-07-24
Date of death
1992-05-12
Gender
female
Nationality
USA
Birthplace
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Place of death
New York, New York, USA
Places of residence
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Poughkeepsie, New York, USA
New York, New York, USA
Paris, France
Education
Vassar College (1932)
Occupations
children's book author
publisher
illustrator
librarian
Organizations
The Domino Press: New York
The Cat Club
Short biography
Esther Averill was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where she became a cartoonist for a local newspaper as a teenager. After graduating from Vassar College with honors in 1923, she joined the editorial staff of Women's Wear Daily. In 1925, she moved to Paris, France to work as a photojournalist's assistant. In 1931, she founded her own publishing company, The Domino Press, which specialized in children's picture books illustrated by gifted young artists. Domino Press introduced French and American readers to artists from around the world, including Feodor Rojankovsky, who later won a Caldecott Award, before ceasing operations in 1938.

Esther returned to the USA in 1941 and went to work in the children's department at the New York Public Library. In 1944, she wrote and illustrated The Cat Club, the first in a series of stories about a black cat named Jenny Linsky. Between 1944 and 1972, Esther wrote and illustrated a dozen more book about Jenny Linsky and her cat friends, all of whom were based on cats she owned or knew. These cat club books proved to be her most popular works, and were eventually translated into six languages.

Members

Reviews

Pickles is a young cat with big paws and big plans. But all he can find to do is chase other cats, until he is adopted by the local firehouse.

Knowing that this is his chance to do big things, Pickles works hard to be a good fire cat. He learns to jump on a fire truck. He learns to help put out a fire, and he even helps out in a rescue!
 
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PlumfieldCH | 22 other reviews | Dec 7, 2023 |
This was cute! I happily recognized lots of influences from TS Elliot's "Big Book of Cats". It's a quick, gentle read.
 
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iszevthere | 1 other review | Jul 13, 2022 |
I loved this book as a kid! Maybe it was the bright red cover. I really don't remember the story but I sure liked the pictures. So glad I still own it.
 
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Chica3000 | 22 other reviews | Dec 11, 2020 |
Sweet, but innocuous, and short. It reminded me of the kind of semi-rambling story one might make up for one's kids on the spur of the moment, when stuck on a train with no book, say. I can imagine someone recommending it for a shy child who is bullied at school, say, and I can also imagine it not helping in the slightest. The illustrations are a kind of naive primitive style by the author and have more charm than the tale itself.

So not horrible, but I'm a bit surprised it became so beloved as to spawn several sequels (this is itself a follow-up to the first one, The Cat Club), let alone be reissued years later, alone the tone is very much in keeping with the clean, spare, charming, erudite style espoused by the New York Review Children's Collection curators.

Oh, and I've never seen a stained glass window in a church which opened. Never. So that struck a discordant tone. I can accept schools for cats, but not churches popping over their stained glass windows to let a little breeze in!

(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s).
… (more)
 
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ashleytylerjohn | 7 other reviews | Oct 13, 2020 |

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Statistics

Works
30
Also by
1
Members
4,453
Popularity
#5,624
Rating
½ 4.3
Reviews
64
ISBNs
59
Languages
5
Favorited
6

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