Author(s): Esther Averill
In Jenny Goes to Sea, our heroine makes her passage on the good ship Sea Queen with her master, Captain Tinker, and her adopted brothers, tiger cat Edward, and black-and-white cat Checkers. Once on board, they meet the adventurous ship's cat, Jack Tar. Leaving New York's harbor, the friends travel to Africa and Asia, and return through the Panama Canal. At each port they meet a colorful local cat who shows them around. Jenny and her pals have their fortunes told by an Abyssinian cat in Zanzibar; dance the sailor's hornpipe with Bobo the Burmese, another ship's cat who was left behind, in Singapore; and float with Siamese cat Dara in a sampan boat on a Bangkok river--a truly exotic adventure.
"'Poor Jenny, bright as a penny, is a little black cat simply too timid to have fun, but capable of extraordinary bravado when she thinks no one is looking. This scaredy-kitten is at the centre of Esther Averill's deliciously appealing books about climbing up to confidence, paw by nervous paw' The Guardian 'The grace and charm of these little books are not only for children. In wording, illustration, and design they offer to people of all ages a short interview of pure delight' The Saturday Review 'There is a realness about Jenny, as well as a demure charm, that gives these annals of her doings a distinction lacking in many a more pretentious effort' The New Yorker"
Esther Averill (1902-1992) began her career as a storyteller drawing cartoons for her local newspaper. After graduating from Vassar College in 1923, she moved first to New York City and then to Paris, where she founded her own publishing company. The Domino Press introduced American readers to artists from all over the world, including Feodor Rojankovsky, who later won a Caldecott Award. In 1941, Esther Averill returned to the United States and found a job in the New York Public Library while continuing her work as a publisher. She wrote her first book about the red-scarfed, mild-mannered cat Jenny Linsky in 1944, modeling its heroine on her own shy cat. Esther Averill would eventually write twelve more tales about Miss Linsky and her friends (including the I Can Read Book, The Fire Cat), each of which was eagerly awaited by children all over the United States (and their parents, too).