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3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,683 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
The power of reading is beautifully captured in this 2006 Newbery Honor-winning book.
Bernie keeps a barn full of animals the rest of the world has no use for–two retired trotters, a rooster, some banty hens, and a Muscovy duck with clipped wings who calls herself The Lady. When the cat called Whittington shows up one day, it is to the Lady that he makes an appeal to secur
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published July 26th 2005)
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I vaguely remember reading this book when it won the Newbery Honor, and being confused by it. The cat could talk? Or . . . the kids were imagining it? It also plays off the fact that you already know Dick Whittington and his cat, which I had heard of, as in, I knew the name but not why. Kids who love animal stories, though, will like this. And frankly, there are worse Newbery Honor books.
wild pear
Nov 13, 2009 wild pear rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With remarkably efficient but evocotive writing, Armstrong uses a clever artifice to tell the stories of two boys who each overcome a difficult challenge with the aid of a rather unusual cat. The first escapes a certain life of servitude in the Middle Ages to find greater fortune. The second, in the present, overcomes his dyslexia to learn to read. In both, personal perseverence, the nobelness of aiding strangers, the importance of family, and joy of storytelling come across easily without feeli ...more
Oct 01, 2011 Dominic rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
At times charming and lovely, Whittington is a strangely ambitious tale that tries to weave three--possibly even four--narratives together, and only sometimes hits the mark. The characters are endearing (especially for a cat lover), and most of the storylines are enjoyable. Yet many of the chapters, even some of the best, ended abruptly and transitioned awkwardly. In the end, I'm not sure how powerfully they hold together as a finished work.

All the same, this is a fine book for children, and I w
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
What could be better than the traditional tale of Dick Whittington told from the point of view of his cat? Well deserving of the Newbery honor book award.
Feb 17, 2011 Bette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
This book is in the tradition of EB White's classic "Charlotte's Web." However, it is not in the same league, despite its Newbery honor award. There are too many stories going on at once. There's the story of the animals in the barn, which isn't much of a story. There's the story of "Dick Whittington & His Cat," told by his descendant, Whittington. And then there's Ben's battle with dyslexia, which seems put in the book to give hope to kids with reading difficulties. I see how Dick Whittingt ...more
Dawn (& Ron)
Anna's ABC&D book club read

Whittington is a dual storyline, a modern story of a homeless, tattered around the edges, smart cat named Whittington, in search of a place to live and the 14th century historical adventure of his name sake, Dick Whittington and his famous cat, whose name has been lost to history.

"Whittington is a person in history. He's in books"

Ron's point of view Telling of Dick Whittington's adventures with his cat is great for children who think history is boring and dusty
Dawn (& Ron)
Dec 31, 2011 Dawn (& Ron) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ron rates it 4 stars and I rated it 4-1/2 stars. Review forthcoming.

Nov 04, 2012 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery, audio
A Newbery Honor book, this title was enjoyable, but not without its flaws. The structure overall was very well done, moving from one time period to another with easy transitions and keeping the pace with both stories. But at the same time, I was not terribly interested in Ben's work with his reading, so those parts of the book always seemed to drag for me, less because the pacing was bad than because of my boredom with the subject matter. A child who's struggling to read? I can't imagine how tha ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whittington is a 2006 Newbery Honor book, and reading it gave me an insight into the award: it's for books that adults want children to like, not books that children might actually like (ex/Diary of a Wimpy Kid). This does not read like a contemporary book.

Our protagonist Whittington is a tom cat who goes to live in a barn and talks with the other animals. Then the orphaned grandchildren of the farmer nestle in the hay and listen to the cat tell the story of his namesake, Dick Whittington (no h
Amanda Lee
I enjoyed this book. It really has two stories in it. One story is a historical adventure about Dick Whittington and his cat. The second story is a modern story about a boy learning to read. I preferred the historical adventure because it was a richer story and was more interesting. I felt that the modern story was not as detailed and clear. It seemed almost forced. Despite that, I still recommend this book and think it was worth the read.
Thomas Bell
Pretty good book. It's about a cat named Whittington who gets adopted into a family of barn animals. They have their barn animal adventures, they help teach a young boy how to read, and Whittington tells the story of his namesake - Dick Whittington, who in real life was Lord Mayor of London and helped bring better sanitation to England in the 1300's, as well as his cat who is also famous through folklore. Nearly half of the book was this folklore tale commonly called 'Dick Whittington and his ca ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Lief rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had fun listening to this audio book with the kids. :) The story is well-woven between the narrator telling a tale of barn yard animals and the two children who love them and the tale of a cat's ancestor in medieval England. I love how the author switches back and forth between the two stories because it adds a lot of depth for parents who wish to read to their kids or listen to the audiobook. **I HIGHTLY RECOMMEND LISTENING TO THE AUDIOBOOK** The voice-actor does a splendid job of acting out a ...more
Jun 12, 2016 J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Remember, one man's book-flap summary is another man's spoiler.

This follows in the noble line of talking farm-animal stories such as "Charlotte's Web" and "Babe."

One distinction, though, is that in "Whittington" the children and animals talk freely to each other, though the reader never overhears a specific conversation.

The farm animals deal with stress and strife: there's a duck with clipped wings who can't follow her drake; mothers sometimes lose a youngster to predators; war drags on between
'Whittington' by Alan Armstrong, tells multiple story lines in one describing the values of friendship and interdependence. Whittington, a lonely and ugly cat, meets The Lady, an important duck, who introduces him to the animal family that resides at farmer Bernie's farm. The animal family there reluctantly welcomes Whittington. Bernie's two grandchildren, Abby and Ben, visit the talking animals regularly and form a relationship with all of the needy, fragile animals of the farm that Bernie take ...more
May 07, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libs-642
Armstrong, A., Schindler, S.D. (2005). Whittington. New York: Random House Publishers.

2006 Newbery Honor

Fiction Choice: Contemporary/fiction/fantasy

This is somewhat of a combined story with two stories intertwining. Whittington is the name of the main character which is a cat who lives in a barn owned by “Bernie.” Whittington and the other barn animals have the power to talk to children, and soon upon the beginning of the story, Bernie’s grandchildren, Ben and Abby, come to visit. With Ben stru
KidsFiction Teton County Library

Chris’s Rating: 2 Stars
A cat who calls himself Whittington, no longer has a home. Wanting friends, he petitions the barnyard animals to let him join their family of unwanted animals, cared for by a farmer whose heart won’t let him abandon them. The farmer’s grandchildren visit the barn, conversing with the animals who help a young boy with dyslexia pursue reading, all the while being inspired by Whittington’s tale of the boy from the past (and his cat) whose name h
Bones Kendall
I liked Whittington and my kids did as well. It was a bit of a surprise. I got the book from the local used bookstore, pretty much just because of the cat on the cover. That was about the extent of it, though I did notice award.

We did not know what to expect and found the story to be compelling and earnest. There is a group of animals, a hodgepodge, who live in a barn behind a Texaco filling station. It's rural America back east somewhere.

The story goes that Whittington arrives and finds a purpo
Feb 28, 2014 Charity rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
The first several chapters of this book were quite good. I loved the details of Whittington's arrival at the barn and the manner in which he proved himself to the other animals, but the book seemed to lose some of that charm as it went along. The switch between the parallel stories was often clumsy (for example, the transitions between chapters included a lot about eating and horses stretching their legs, which just felt tacked on to me) and just tedious.

It didn't help that neither of the stori
Braden Bell
Jul 06, 2010 Braden Bell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I hope to be able to write some day. It is incredibly sweet--even uplifting--without being treacly or overwrought. It is also extremely well-written. Armstrong's prose is a model of economy and simplicity. It is the kind of writing that seems simple and easy until you try to do it. I really loved this book and am going to put it on my list of books I come back to occasionally for comfort. You really need to read this.
Mar 14, 2016 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute story that has a Charlotte's Web style feel with talking farm animals and their doting children. Curiously, the farm cat tells the other animals the true adventure story of an old British man, Dick Whittington. Fascinating way to relate history with some sound morals. But adventure isn't everything: "Flying isn't everything. . . There's something to staying put, where you're needed." Also loved the idea that Dick Whittington wasn't remembered because he became very rich, but because he gave ...more
Sep 05, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Alan Armstrong's Whittington. This book celebrates two of my favorite things: storytelling and cats. The framework of the story really worked for me. The modern day story is of a cat, Whittington, and his friends living in a barn. The book tells of his arrival at the barn, his meeting of the other animals, their hesitant acceptance of him. Soon Whittington proves his worth. One reason why may be he is great at storytelling. He tells the story of Dick Whittington and His Cat to ...more
Leigh Isley
Jun 24, 2014 Leigh Isley rated it really liked it
Genre: Animal Fantasy
Ages: 5th to 7th grade readers

Whittington is about a ophaned tom cat that comes to live in Bernie's Barn. The barn is full of orphans that no else seems to have a use for anymore. Whittington being new asked the other animals could he stay in the barn also, everyone agrees except for Lady. Lady is in charge of the barn. She was a little hesitant at first, but then Whittington claim to be a master ratter and since this is something that is needed she says yes.
Abby and Ben, Be
Apr 29, 2010 Crystal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a Newberry Honor Winner??? What??? Couldn't make it past page 25 (And I forced myself to even read that far). There were many problems I had with the book, but the three main problems I had were it was 1. SOOOOOO boring 2. talking animals - I hate it when animals talk with each other like they are human 3. Did I mention the book was boring!!!!
Peggy Crawford
Aug 24, 2007 Peggy Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A top-notch children's book. It's a Newbery Honor book. There are several stories being told all at the same time. Whitington is the cat, named after the famous Dick Whitington and his cat. Would make a great gift for any child ages 8 to 12.
Teddy pulled this book off the shelf for me. It wasn't what I expected (about Dick Whittington), but used the traditional tale in an interesting way, with a descendant of Dick Whittington's cat telling the tale to help a young boy and his sister.
Whittington is a stray cat taken in by a barnful of similarly outcast animals who are cared for by Ben\rnie, the man who runs the Texaco and has a soft heart for abandoned animals. Whittington entertains the animals with adventurous stories of his ancestor, a cat owned by Richard Whittington in the 15th century. Whittington the human escaped a poor upbringing to find his way in London. There he is taken in by a merchant businessman and eventually works as an apprentice in the trade, becoming a s ...more
This book has some good messages (it encourages kids to read, to not give up, and to be kind to animals). But it also had some bad ones (a main character smokes and another runs away from home when he's about 10). Other than that it's just ok. There are a few different stories going on, Dick's story, the kids' story, and the animals' story. I thought the kids' story and the animals' story blended together fine. But Dick's story seemed very awkwardly stuck in there. I felt like this book should h ...more
Karen Gedeon
In the style of EB White’s Charlotte’s Web & Trumpet of the Swans, Alan Armstrong’s Newbery Honor Book Whittington, brings the farm yard animal kingdom to life. Whittington is a warm hearted tale of Whittington the cat, a descendant of Dick Whittington’s cat who sailed the seas with Dick himself. As Whittington the cat shares family history with the barn’s inhabitants and the children who own it, more than English history is taught. Readers learn how to care for animals. The importance of fi ...more
I never really got into this. I liked the characters of the Lady and the cat, but the omniscient voice and the frame story of talking animals helping a real life kid get up the courage to go to remedial reading just didnt interest me. I might have enjoyed the story of Dick Wittington (told by the descendant of his cat) sent me to the internet researching the origins of lilacs, but because the cat is telling the children and barn animals, it is all telling and lacks the vividness of modern fictio ...more
May 11, 2016 WarriorCatsFan001 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There are not a lot of books in the genre I call "Cat Fiction". It ranges from the adult novel, Felidae, to Warriors, to the beautifully written, Tailchaser's Song. And then you get this sorry excuse for a book. I couldn't get to the 3rd page. It felt like one of those movies that is a ripoff of another great movie, so Grandmas' get it thinking it is the real thing. But in book form. It feels like a ripoff of Charlotte's Web. Thank you for your time and do not buy this book, thinking you will ha ...more
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Alan Armstrong started volunteering in a friend's bookshop when he was eight. At 14, he was selling books at Brentano's. As an adult, every so often, he takes to the road in a VW bus named Zora to peddle used books. He is the editor of Forget Not Mee & My Garden, a collection of the letters of Peter Collinson, the 18th-century mercer and amateur botanist. He lives with his wife, Martha, a pain ...more
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