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Basil and the Pygmy Cats
Eve Titus
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Basil and the Pygmy Cats

(Basil of Baker Street #3)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Now debuting in an exciting new package, Basil and the Pygmy Cats has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times for its "wild imagination tempered with pure humor".
Published (first published January 1st 1971)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  224 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Start your review of Basil and the Pygmy Cats (Basil of Baker Street, #3)
In this installment of this clever series, Basil is called on to explore a lost island where it is said miniature cats live. Could it be true? Leave it to Basil to get to the bottom of things! Though entertaining for children, this one also has a message and a moral. You shouldn’t fear the unknown and you should help others when you can.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the idea of the story in this one better, but it is definitely a product of its time. The title was clearly changed, as it should have been, from its original, but that also doesn't change the content from being something that wouldn't get published today. This is one to definitley talk about with your kids after reading. I also, from an anthropological perspective, really don't like them selling artifacts that aren't theirs. Really a product of its time, morally, ethically, personably, ...more
This was was sortof Sherlock Holmes meets Indiana Jones. Basil is not only the world's greatest mouse detective, he also has a hobby dabbling in archaeology (he discovered Rockhenge, you know). The story begins with Basil and Dawson planning a trip to Bengistan (near India) where Professor Ratigan (Basil's arch-enemy) has taken over the mousedom. As they are finalizing their plans, a scientist from the British Mousmopolitan Museum comes by with an ancient goblet with a design that seems to ...more
This one had a much more whimsical feel to it than the first one. This was an adventure story that had elements that brought back fond memories of Indiana Jones, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and of Gulliver's Travels. It didn't feel like Sherlock Holmes, which I must admit I found a tad disappointing. I also found myself confused about Ratigan. He was mentioned so casually, in a way that assumed I knew who he was (and I did, but not because of the books). It made me feel like perhaps I read ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun adventure! I love Basil, and love the way Titus tries to make Sherlock Holmes accessible to kids through these chapter books (although the language can make these difficult for younger readers to grasp. I guess kids were more well read when these were published.)

While parts of this story were a little too unbelievable, even for a mouse detective (Ratigan got away from the greatest mouse detective twice? In one book??), this book felt like Treasure Island meets mystery. Fun and unique.
Carrie ReadingtoKnow
Fans of Disney's The Great Mouse Detective are quite likely to enjoy the Basil of Bakerstreet books by Eve Titus, which the movie is based on. The second book in the series was just as fun as the first. In "Basil and the Cave Cats" (originally published as "Basil and the Pygmy Cats") Basil is off on an archaeological expedition to discover a lost island where tiny cats were ruled by mice.

We read this book aloud (kids aged 4 - 12) and we all chuckled and laughed at various parts of the story,
Megan Wilcox
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Basil of Baker Street does it again!
Really fun story. Very entertaining, and a fun mouse-y twist on Sherlock Holmes.
Great story! Though it was a bit too short... I finished it in less than an hour.
And once again, the cover is too cute!
Excited to read the other Great Mouse Detective books by Eve Titus!
Ollie Reeder
The civilized mice rescue the dull-witted Pygmy islander cats from an erupting volcano and help themselves to a bounty of ancient treasure. Even though it's cats and mice more racist than I would expect from a 1970s children's story. I still enjoyed the book because it's Basil.
May 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great beginner chapter book. Short, quick chapters with adventure and mystery. I love Sherlock Holmes and this is a great story to introduce children to Holmes. Basil of Baker Street is the great mouse detective!
Selah Pike
My least favorite of the series so far. I understand that it's a product of its time, but the racism and condescension towards the cats is extremely off putting.
Edward Petersen
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack and I really enjoyed this one. It was less of a mystery and more of an adventure, with another adventure wrapped inside. I think he's hooked on this series.
Megan Rudek
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another cute story!!
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These illustrations are So. Stinking. Cute.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To cute.
While I enjoyed this book and it's premise, sort of a children's version of Sherlock Holmes, I have some concerns about some of the content. Maybe because it was published in the 1950s the content is seen as acceptable, but to me it rings a bit like the attitudes so prevalent during the colonial era, when powerful outside countries moved into smaller, supposedly less civilized countries and saved the so-called 'heathens'. This book unfortunately and probably inadvertently rings of some of that ...more
Luisa Knight
I adore Eve Titus's characters, and when you combine her stories with Paul Galdone's illustrations - you get excellent entertainment!

Sherlock Holmes has a protege - a mouse, Basil of Baker Street. Like his human counterpart, he solves all kinds of daring mysteries that your family will enjoy. Clean, fun and makes a great read-aloud!

Reading Level: 1st - 4th grades

Children's Bad Words
Mild Obscenities & Substitutions - 1 Incident: By Jove!
Religious Profanities - 2 Incidents:
Saskia Marijke Niehorster-Cook
Basil is an antropomorphic mouse with an uncanny similarity to our dear Sherlock Holmes.

In this, the second or third book in a series, he embarks upon a voyage to visit the Maharaja of Beningstan, who is being held captive by Ratigan, Basil's nemesis. After liberating him, his friend repays him by giving him a large ship in which to search for the lost island of Kataarh and the pygmy cats.

The island is re-discovered and turned into an archeological sight, where mush is learned about an ancient
Reading Challenge #10: with a cat on the cover.

So, as a kid, I LOVED the Great Mouse Detective Disney movie (ok, I still love it as an adult, who am I fooling?). So I thought as my 'loved as a child' book, I'd read one of the books the movie was based off of.

I'm sure I would have enjoyed it as an eight year old, so it was just ok. But what really threw me off were the racist undertones to the book. Goodness! Honestly, I probably would have only given this book one star, but my love for the
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So the first half of this book is pretty adorable. Basil and Dawson get to have a run-in with Ratigan and Doran. There is a lost lake monster with two heads. There is a lot of backstory about ancient mouse culture. Then the second half takes an unfortunate turn, and my kids may have been a tad confused when I kept stopping to say, "What do we think about what Basil is saying here?" and "Basil isn't right to do this because..." So, yeah. Colonialism. Sigh.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was very mysterious, really fast-paced and very well-written children’s mystery adventure novel. It had really beautiful illustrations, really good characters, very exciting adventure, really great mystery, really excellent humor and a really nice story. It’s just as good as “Basil of Baker Street.” I’m really looking forward to read more books about Basil the mouse detective. I really recommend this book to both children and adults.
Great second story in "The Great Mouse Detective" series. It was fun to reread this again, as the last time was when I was 10 years old! Paul Galdone's illustrations are as always, enchanting. Only curious as to why the publishers decided to change the name from the original title "Basil and the Pygmy Cats" - was it due to cultural ideals? In any case, looking forward to the next titles in the the series.
A reprinting of a classic. I'm not sure how kids today would respond to this but it was cute. Lots of good vocabulary that would be great for a younger advanced reader.

The only thing I really didn't like was the weird colonialist undertones running through it. Not necessary to bring up in 2016 without context.
A. Nixon
I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first book. It felt a little rushed with the first mystery and a bit too "let's rescue the savages" for the second. There just wasn't enough mini cat development, for me, but it was pretty cute. I'll try another volume before I give up.
This is unfortunately the least good of the Basil books, because although the mysteries are fun and the mouse history is fun, it's also really unfortunately colonialist and racist oh Eve Titus no.

I mean. I like it. It's Basil. But, also, really unfortunate overtones. Alas.
Emily Hale
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Another fun read with the boys.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I do not recommend this book. Racist undertones.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book's plot line (see Basil in Baker Street review for my same opinions on this book as well.
Katie Merkel
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book. I think 2nd-4th graders would especially appreciate it. Think Geronimo Stilton meets Sherlock Holmes and you've got this book.
Mar 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
This book is weird. Really, really weird. And kinda racist? I feel like it was written that way because of Sherlock Holmes being that way, but it feels very strange in a more modern story.
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Eve Titus was the author of numerous bestselling and beloved children's books.

Her most famous characters include Anatole, a French mouse and Basil of Baker Street, a mouse who works as a private eye. Her book, Anatole, won the 1957 Caldecott Honor Book award.

She died in 2002 in Orlando, Florida.

Other books in the series

Basil of Baker Street (10 books)
  • Basil of Baker Street (Basil of Baker Street, #1)
  • Basil and the Lost Colony (Basil of Baker Street, #2)
  • Basil in Mexico (Basil of Baker Street, #4)
  • Basil in the Wild West (Basil of Baker Street, #5)
  • Basil and the Big Cheese Cook-Off (The Great Mouse Detective Book 6)
  • Basil and the Royal Dare
  • Basil and the Library Ghost
  • The Great Mouse Detective Crumbs and Clues Collection: Basil of Baker Street; Basil and the Cave of Cats; Basil in Mexico; Basil in the Wild West; Basil and the Lost Colony
  • The Great Mouse Detective Mastermind Collection Books 1-8: Basil of Baker Street; Basil and the Cave of Cats; Basil in Mexico; Basil in the Wild West; Basil and the Lost Colony; Basil and the Big Cheese Cook-Off; Basil and the Royal Dare; Basil and the...