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Katje, the Windmill Cat

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
A heroic tale, based on a true story more than five hundred years old, of a cat, a baby, and a flood

"Smoothly told as well as finely illustrated, this heartwarming book . . . is certain to become a favorite for lap sharing."
— BOOKLIST (starred review)

"The panel illustrations, like miniature Dutch paintings, glow with a patina of amber light and parallel the excitement of
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by Candlewick (first published 2001)
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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankHans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes DodgeGirl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy ChevalierBoxes for Katje by Candace FlemingKatje, the Windmill Cat by Gretchen Woelfle
5th out of 76 books — 18 voters
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussKitten's First Full Moon by Kevin HenkesMillions of Cats by Wanda GágPuss in Boots by Charles PerraultSkippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
Picture Books about Cats
114th out of 383 books — 180 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 16, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Based on the true story of the 1421 Elizabeth's Day Flood in South Holland, this is the story of Katje, the windmill cat, who is not welcomed by the miller's new wife but eventually saves the day.

I love the illustrations here! Nicola Bayley really knows cats and does a lovely, charming job portraying them in her work. I especially loved this one because we have a calico cat ;-) They bumped this up to a four star for me.

However, the story made me rather sad. I don't think there is anything exactl
Lisa Vegan
Sep 27, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
Pictures: Gorgeous and just wonderful.

Story: Made me very sad and very angry, even though there is a happy ending to this historical fiction tale. Hated the new wife for quite some time! Hated that a loving cat, a treasured family member, was pushed aside, first for the wife, then for the new baby. I’m too sensitive for this sort of tale. My sadness persisted even after things turned around and the cat was once again appreciated.

It’s a lovely book though.

There is also an interesting author's no
Found this book yesterday, when visiting a museum. I knew the story, because it is part of the folklore tales of my country. It's a lovely book to read to kids who are learning to read. When their reading abilities improve it is a good story to read themselves. Illustrations, so important to stimulate fantasy, are wonderful, even I got a bit emotional when I finished the book. Based on events during the Saint Elizabethflood, 5 November 1421.
This story also has given its name to one of the most
Aug 10, 2009 Josette rated it liked it
I told my kids this story wasn't true while I was reading it--turns out it was! (or was at least based on a true event)
Nesa Sivagnanam
May 15, 2011 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it it was amazing
An absolutely beautifully illustrated tale about a cat who saves a child during a flood. Based on a true story from the Netherlands. The book has the most lovely drawings where you can see every single strand of fur on the cat and all the tiny details in each scene.
Karen GoatKeeper
Nov 16, 2016 Karen GoatKeeper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Katje is the miller's cat, loved and honored by him. Then he gets married. Katje finds herself replaced.
The couple has a baby. The cat loves the child but the mother is afraid the cat sill hurt it.
Then comes the flood.
This story is based on a true story.
The illustrations reflect the story's Dutch setting. They are in an old style as the story is an old one set in long ago times. Their detail and delicacy is a delight to see.
Children would be delighted not only with the pictures but also the stor
Nov 03, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, 2016
What a sweet story! And to know that it's true? Made it even better. I double checked Wikipedia, and lo and behold, a cat really did help save a baby in its cradle during that flood. Truly amazing.
Nov 05, 2016 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why was I crying my eyes out at the end of this story?
Camille Tesch
Sep 26, 2016 Camille Tesch marked it as to-read
Netherlands ages 6-8
Julia Jasztal
Jan 11, 2013 Julia Jasztal rated it it was amazing
(Mommy's review from 3/23/11)

Wow! This is a beautiful, beautiful book! I thought - wrongly - that it would be boring when we first started it so I'm happy we kept going.
Katje (pronounced Katie?) is based on a true story almost 600 years old out of South Holland! In 1421, on Nov. 5th to be exact, a storm coming off of the North Sea flooded a small village. "A cat and a baby did live through that terrible flood." I'm aware that they didn't live through the flood in the manner described in the book
Aug 01, 2011 Taigiseadh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully illustrated educational children's book about the St. Elizabeth's flood of November 1421 that left many parts of southern Holland under water. But, from the flood sprung the legend of the cat and a baby in a cradle that lived in one of the 19 windmills in the area known as Kinderdijk (Children's Dike) in Alblasserward.
Oct 11, 2015 Claire rated it liked it
I more appreciated the beautiful artwork from this book than the actual story when I looked through this book, I admit.

However, the story is a classic Dutch one! (I don't really understand too clearly why the Netherlands people are called that, and the Amish are the Pennsylvania Dutch, or anything... social convention, I suppose.)

I liked this book overall.
Sep 20, 2010 Claire rated it liked it
Shelves: children-books
I enjoyed reading about Katje the cat. My kids were not so into it but they might be a little too young to appreciate the story. This book is based on a true account, which the author includes at the end of the book.
The story is consists of a cat and a baby that both survived the terrible Elizabeth Day flood of 1421, Holland.
Jan 22, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing
anytime you have a chance to see cat illustrations by Nicola Bayley go for it. she's the only artist that consistantly makes rat catchers look attractive
non fiction based in holland. katje was a dutch lassie
Aug 13, 2016 Shelli rated it really liked it
Cat lovers will embrace this lovely work of historical fiction that revolves around an actual event that occurred in 1421 in a small village in Holland with a heroic cat, a violent storm, and a helpless infant.
Mar 02, 2016 Teri rated it really liked it
What little girl doesn't love a story about a cat?!! Especially a true story of a cat in South Holland in 1421 who survives the breaking of the town's dike with a baby in a cradle? Really wonderful story!
Based on a true story of a cat who saved a small baby during the flood of 1421 in the Netherlands. Gentle illustrations and a lot of text that might make it a good book for a little bit older crowd, 1st grade, to read to.
Nov 16, 2012 Bree rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
frightening element of baby lost in flood waters
baby is born and cat gets ignored
illustrations were nice
longer story for ages 5+
Nov 09, 2012 Jackie rated it did not like it
Shelves: children-s-books
The illustrations had nice original tiles drawings. The story was a bit overdone. Based on historical fiction?-that makes it a fun read for those who visit the "Kinderdijk" in Holland.
On of my favorite picture books for children! A delightful story about a cat living during the flooding of Holland.
Feb 10, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
We all love this beautifully illustrated book, especially since our own heritage is Dutch. Highly recommend it.
Lis Ann - The Indigo Quill
Lis Ann - The Indigo Quill rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2015
Pita-eater rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2007
Nicki rated it really liked it
May 02, 2015
Ash rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2014
Dianna rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2012
ELRS rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2014
Gretchen rated it liked it
May 26, 2008
Mar 11, 2016 Mckinley rated it really liked it
Based on true story.
C.M rated it really liked it
Nov 12, 2013
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