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The Grand Escape [Turtleback]

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1994 Yearling Book
Yearning to find one of the ranches he has heard so much about, Marco, one of Mr. and Mrs. Neal's house cats, sets out with Polo, who longs to find the mother cat he barely remembers, on an adventure.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The droll escapades of two cat brothers who leave the safe and cozy confines of their home in search of adventure will readily enchant ailurophiles--and perhaps even convert aficionados of things canine. Marco and Polo are the beloved pets of the Neals, a well-meaning couple whose only fault is their reluctance to let the twin tabbies explore the great outdoors. Inspired by his single illicit visit to the backyard, as well as his gloriously muddled dreams of life on a ranch (gleaned from reading the newspaper lining his litter box), Marco convinces his brother to accompany him in his break for freedom. Once outside, the intrepid felines discover the joys of a Burger King dumpster and make the acquaintance of the winsome cat Carlotta and the territorial tom known as Texas Jake, "The King, The Boss, The Cat Supreme." This sunny and boisterous novel is not an allegory in the style of Watership Down or The Rescuers , but an uncomplicated romp starring two captivating kitties. As a lagniappe, reliable nuggets of pet lore are scattered throughout: e.g., never leave string and rubber-bands around for kitty to swallow. Brimming with quirky cat character (and an obvious knowledge of the breed), Daniel's true-to-type illustrations are an added delight. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

They've always been indoor cats, but a taste of freedom sets Marco (indolent but smart--he can read) to scheming; he and Polo (livelier, with a penchant for eating stringy things like spaghetti and ribbon) sneak out of the Neals' comfortable house to make new friends and perform, with spunk and ingenuity, the initiation tasks imposed by the tom who presides over the garbage back of the fast-food place. Naylor, an amused observer of her own cats, characterizes these two with insight and wit, endowing them with believably catlike thoughts, comical misconceptions based on their limited experience, and appealing individuality. Aside from the quests, their behavior is entertainingly realistic--including a retreat home when the food supply is closed out; and though there are now two feisty territorial kittens there, the Neals welcome their old pets back with the recognition that they'll be ``indoor-outdoor'' cats henceforth. An unusually engaging animal adventure, with plenty of sharply observed, action-filled illustrations. (Fiction. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
During the icy blue days of winter and the spongy green mornings of spring and the steamy white heat of a summer afternoon, Marco had not especially wanted. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great funny book! March 25 2004
By A Customer
The Grand Escape is a great book and very funny. I am 9 years old and I live in Ohio. I got this book from Amazon. The day I got it, I started reading it. It was hilarious!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful reading Feb. 3 2004
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Marco and Polo were the housecats of Mr. and Mrs. Neal. However, the Neals did not know the two cats could talk. After all, it did not sound like English to the humans. Marco could also read! The cats had been trained not to go outside but Marco escaped once for an hour. Due to that, and Marco reading about something called a "ranch", the two cats carefully planned their escape into the world. Neither knew all the hardships they would face, nor the wonderful adventures they would have.
*** A delightful tale that is perfect for a child's first chapter book. Great for ages 8 - 14. Here is one that will be read and reread many times, and never to be forgotten! ***
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2.0 out of 5 stars For Younger Readers July 6 2003
By A Customer
I had to read this book for school and thought it was going to be pointless and cheezy . . . I was somewhat right! The book is about two house cats, Marco and Polo, who have a dream of going to a ranch. They run away from home and want to join the Club of Mysteries. To be able to join they have to figure out three great mysteries, like 'when it rains where does the rain go?' I think was one.
The Grand Escape is probably geared to younger readers like the 6-10 crowd. It was a cute story idea, kind of like the things you see in Disney movies, but I think that's what it should of been: a Disney movie. Probably an okay thing to read to your six year old sister but other than that, not something you would want to read on your own time.
I gave it two stars because of the fact that it was supposedly supposed to be for preteen readers -- I disagree -- and the fact that it seemed a little too happy and fluffy, again so much like a Disney movie.
Recomendations: Shiloh, it's by the same author and might be able to fit into the preteen catagory . . . then again maybe not. I didn't really like it but if you liked the Grand Escape you probably would like it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read. June 17 2003
By A Customer
The Grand Escape is about two cats named Marco and Polo and how they get into the Club of Mysteries, a group of cats that solve mysteries, such as what controls masters and what makes the sun rise and set. The plot sucks you in and keeps you reading. It's funny and adventurous, and if you're a cat lover, you'll like it even more. There are other books in the series, too, The Healing of Texas Jake is the second one, and there's another one called Carlotta's Kittens. I hope there are more! I think cat lovers of all ages would enjoy this book. I'm an 8 year old girl (Mom's typing this for me!), but I think boys would enjoy it as much as girls.
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4.0 out of 5 stars read this book May 1 2003
By A Customer
Marco and Polo have been house cats their whole lives. Their masters were spring cleaning when Marco found the open door. He told Polo all about it and they planned to escape again. They meet up with a big cat named Texas Jake. They want to be in this club but first they have to complete three tasks. Find out what the three tasks are and if they will go through with them or not. You'll be in for a surprise!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Excpae Jan. 18 2002
By A Customer
I liked this book because the cats were very adventurous. The pictures were very discriptive and clear they werent sloppy. I could understand the chapters because the author didnt make everything confusing.
I think the best part of the book was when Marco and Polo desided they wanted to run away to the open outdoors. And when they get in the outdoors they have no clue where to go.
I think the characters were very cute. And they thought they knew everything, except for Polo, he was so domb he was cute. And the setting was okay. The setting was at first they were home in their cossy beds, and then they were out in the wild,on their own,and in the wild.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Escape Oct. 17 2001
By A Customer
I am an elementary school library media specialist and read this book aloud to children of all ages. We all love it! It is humorous and curious and the mystery always keeps the students' attention. You can't go wrong here. Anyone who has cats will be especially entertained. A real winner!
M Powell
Roswell, Ga.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The grownup laughed too! Jan. 13 2001
By Mary J
I read this aloud to my children (ages 11 & 8) and found myself laughing aloud. The author's imaginings of how cats might view the world are hilarious and original. The story is interesting enough to keep a smaller child involved, too. Wonderful!
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