The Night-Time Cat and the Plump Grey Mouse, At Trinity College Tale

If you thought that schools go all quiet at night, once its students have left, Erika McGann’s tale will prove you most wrong: in this picturebook, the corridors of Trinity College are not only the stage of a chasing game between a hungry cat and a cheeky mouse, they are also full of (friendly) ghosts of times gone by. As cat Pangur Bán searches between the stacks of books for his speedy prey, the reader is treated to a nightly tour of the college’s haunts and its bookish history. Jonathan Swift, Queen Elizabeth I, Oscar Wilde and many other Trinity related ghosts appear in turn and though they do not help Pangur Bán on his dinner quest in the least, they do provide informative fun to the reader.

With patterns evocative of the Book of Kells’s illuminations and luminous shades of blue, yellow and pink, Lauren O’Neill’s illustrations beautifully accompany this story. The cartoonish features of the characters are expressive and bring an added touch of fun and dynamism to the story. Young readers will enjoy identifying the famous ghosts and their creations as well as spotting the grey and plump and oh-so-juicy mouse hiding in every single spread. Last but not least, the biographies at the end of the book are a very nice touch and will undoubedtly generate further reads, and why not, a visit in person to Pangur Bán’s favourite hunding grounds.