Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Caramba” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.88  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  34 reviews
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 suc ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 3rd 2005 by Groundwood Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Extremely cute story full of whimsy (flying cats!) and a great message--find your own way and your own interests, don't simply do what all the others "like you" are doing. I'm fast becoming a Marie-Louise Gay fan!
Vaden Ellwanger
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Summary: Caramba is a cat who feels different because he is the only cat that cannot fly. He has a friend who is a pig named Portia. The other cats make fun of Caramba because he cannot fly, and they make him feel bad about his inability to do what normal cats can do. He tries very hard to fly and fails, but one day the friends take him flying. He falls into the water where he learns an even greater skill- how to swim, which the other cats cannot do.

Theme: The theme is about perseverance and fig
Jessalyn King
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Marie Louise Gay is one of my favourite children's books authors. This was no different. The illustrations here were detailed and soft. And the story was delightful and unexpected. Definitely one to read aloud.

I think secretly, the reason she wrote the book though, was to have a reason to "Ay, Caramba!" to be used in a dialogue...
Marg Corjay
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so cute! Caramba was my kind of little kid and I could readily relate to him. Lots of humorous dialogue, adorable illustrations, and a great message. It shows children just because you cannot excel at what everyone else is good at it does not mean that you don't have your own hidden talents. An excellent family read to share.
Adrianna Eileen
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently read Caramba and Henry by Marie-Louise Gay and realized that we'd missed the first book, so we decided to borrow this one from our local library, too.

Both are fairly strange tales and although we liked them, we were somewhat puzzled by them. Perhaps it's because the stories were originally written in French, I'm not sure. I was hoping that by reading this book the other would make more sense. It did, but only marginally so.

The illustrations are wonderful and I like that the book ta
Whole And
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
A pure joy to read, over and over again.

Marie - Louise Gay has done it again, capturing the essence of the characters and message she is writing about and delivering them through beautiful illustrations.

Caramba the cat wants to fly like all the other cats, as they do in this story but simply cannot, despite the enormous effort. Caramba does, quite by accident discover that swimming delivers the experience of flying and is something all the other cats cannot do.

An extraordinary tale to help your
Karen Arendt
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A charming story about a cat named Caramba who cannot fly. (Apparently cats can fly). Caramba explains his predicament to his friend Portia, a pig. Caramba's cousins overhear that he can't fly and make fun of him. They decide to help him learn but with some surprising results. Caramba may not be able to fly, but he can swim! The illustrations are sweet with lots of soft blues and greens. Caramba is smal bodied with a large head, absolutely adorable.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
So Caramba is actually a word we use in Spanish and it would be equivalent to saying damn but it's softer word still. I think the book is hilarious cause how is it possible that a car cannot swim? I mean everyone does it right?

I think for the PYP is a great book risk-taker and open-minded. And it looks like a great read aloud.
Pig's cannot fly, but cats can! In this book, Caramba is faced witht he challenege of flying like all of the other cats, but he cannot. He does, however, know how to swim. This can be used to talk about acceptance and knowing that not everyone is able to do something. Also, this book can be used for predicting whether or not Caramba will actually fly.
Paula Schuck
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Daughter was given this one the other day at her school and I didn't think there was any Marie-Louise Gay that we hadn't read, but it turns out this one was new to us. Lovely little story of a cat who longs to fly in a world where all cats fly. He tries and tries and tries and eventually is okay with difference. Cute message, great characters.
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-children
The most fun part of reading this book is when Caramba says he's sad because all cats fly but he can't and my kids said, "That's not true. No cats fly" and the next page stated, "It was true. Soon after they learned to walk, young cats would begin to fly." My children replied, "Hmph" in disbelief but then really got into the story. The pictures with cats flying helped.
Sandy Brehl
The premise is absurd (all cats fly) but the story arc is universal. Not feeling "good enough", hiding fears, reluctance to ask for help, and the power of friendship all shine through the amusing plot and the wry twists. Kids will love it.
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-book
The Storytime kids (ages 0-5) were initially confused about the assertion that cats can fly. Once we established that it was pretend, they got right into the story. The use of 'yelled', 'cried', 'whispered' allowed for some creative out loud voices.
May 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Boys were really confused that the plot of this book was about a cat who couldn't fly, when all other cats could. Imagination they are good at, things that go against everything they know and understand, not so much.
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Age: 1st - 3rd grade

Cute concept where cats can fly, but not poor Caramba. Accompanied with soft illustrations, the humor is suitable for grades 1-3 but the listeners should be introduced to the possibility of cats flying because this story jumps right in as if it was common knowledge.
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
By the same author as the Sam and Stella series. Nice soft illustrations with extra details on each page. Same nice sense of matter of fact wonder as in Sam and Stella. Of course, everyone knows cats can fly, except poor Caramba. 5 and 2 year old both liked it as well.
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tiffany DuBeau
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly my favourite by Marie-Louise Gay!
May 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cat, picture
CAts fly only this one can't. Sort of an odd story with a surprise ending.
Wendy Garland
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Strange premise, that cats can fly except Caramba, but a nice message about how although Caramba couldn't fly he found something else that he could do that no one else could.
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Meh. You know what I mean, right? This is the kind of book you shrug, toss aside and never really think about again. Just... meh.
Puja Patel
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is about a cat. All of his friends can fly. He is the only one who can't; he always ends up flat on his face. This book can be used to teach diversity and confidence.
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
J'ai pas quoi dire
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens, review
We normal love Marie-Louise Gay but I really think that she missed the mark with Caramba, my daughter really didn't like the idea of cats flying.
Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Mommy says: Just because you can't do what everyone else does, doesn't mean you don't have some other special gift. You'll never believe what Caramba the Cat can do!
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
CATS CAN'T FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jul 25, 2011 added it
Beautifully illustrated - cute story. Brings out the giggles in little ones.
The Brothers
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
A tad confusing at first (all cats can fly in the story - who knew!) but in the end rather cute.

Great illustrations.
Mason, Natalie & Oliver
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Another cute story (aren't ALL kids books cute?). I loved the illustrations in this story, and the story itself made me chuckle, though my kids didn't understand why. Anyway, thought it was great!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Little Bit of Winter
  • Sitting in My Box
  • Yeti and the Bird
  • You Are Not My Friend, But I Miss You
  • Me  Dog
  • Walk on the Wild Side
  • The Bus Ride
  • Love is You  Me.
  • The Thingamabob
  • Glasswings: A Butterfly's Story
  • What About Bear?
  • Abigail
  • Fraidyzoo
  • Fetch
  • Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest
  • Back to Front and Upside Down
  • Forever
  • Day Dreamers: A Journey of Imagination
Marie-Louise Gay is the illustrator of many award-winning children's books. She is from Montreal, Canada.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »