The Secret Life of Pets. A Cat on the Run (Cat of Death #1)

Introducing the Book and Author

Cat on the Run in Cat of Death! is the first book in Aaron Blabey’s Cat on the Run series. It was written and illustrated by Blabey, an acclaimed Australian children’s author and artist. Some of Blabey’s other popular children’s book series include The Bad Guys and Pig the Pug.

Cat on the Run in Cat of Death! introduces readers to Lou, a streetwise alley cat living in the big city. When Lou gets framed for a crime he didn’t commit, he goes on the run to clear his name. With excitement and hijinks around every corner, it’s a funny book that shows “even stray cats need to believe in themselves” (https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/aaron-blabey/607298/).

Aaron Blabey is an award-winning author and illustrator from Sydney, Australia. He has written many bestselling children’s books that have been published globally. Some of his most popular series include The Bad Guys, Pig the Pug, and now Cat on the Run. Blabey is known for his humorous stories and distinctive illustrations that appeal to children.

The Story and Characters

The main protagonist of Cat on the Run is Lou, an ordinary housecat who enjoys sleeping, eating, and watching TV. However, his comfortable life is thrown into chaos when he is framed for the murder of Phil Kittyson, a beloved feline celebrity. With the police after him, Lou must go on the run to clear his name and prove his innocence.

main character lou is an ordinary cat framed for murder

According to the Bad Guys Wiki, Lou was living a quiet life before being accused of murder. Though proclaimed a “bad cat” in the media, he maintains his innocence and hopes to reveal the real killer. Lou must rely on his street smarts and evasion abilities to stay one step ahead of the authorities.

Other key characters include Detective Meowface, the investigator trying to capture Lou; Phil Kittyson, the slain celebri-cat; and Princess Beautiful, a famous influencer who may be connected to the crime. A variety of animal characters both help and hinder Lou on his quest to clear his name.

Without revealing too many spoilers, the plot centers on Lou’s desperate attempts to evade capture while tracking down clues to identify the true murderer. Chases, close calls, red herrings, and dramatic reveals ensue as Lou gets closer to the truth.

The Illustrations

Aaron Blabey’s signature illustration style brings Cat on the Run to vibrant life. He uses bright, saturated colors and simple, rounded shapes to create an energetic, cartoon-like world for the story’s characters.

Blabey’s illustrations are full of fun details that enhance the zany narrative. He often incorporates visual gags and humorous word art into the backgrounds. For example, Cat’s owner’s home is cluttered with cat-themed knick-knacks and punny signs like “Hang in there!” with a cat hanging from a branch.

the illustrations feature humorous visual gags and word art

The expressions on the animal characters are exaggerated for comedic effect. Blabey captures the chaos and silliness of Cat leading a dog, squirrel, and mouse on an epic adventure. The illustrations keep perfect pace with the action-packed storytelling.

As this video shows, Blabey’s unique illustration style brings energy and personality to otherwise ordinary settings and characters. Overall, his vibrant, humorous illustrations are key to transporting readers into the wacky world of Cat on the Run.

Themes and Lessons

Cat on the Run explores several important themes and lessons for kids. One of the main themes is about standing up for yourself and what’s right. The main character, Cat, gets framed for a crime she didn’t commit. At first she runs and hides, but eventually she finds the courage to stand up and clear her name. This teaches an important lesson about not giving up when things get tough.

Another key theme is friendship. Although Cat starts out alone, she ends up making some loyal friends along the way who help her in proving her innocence. This shows the value of surrounding yourself with people who support you. The story also explores the theme of finding inner strength. At the start, Cat feels weak and scared, but through her journey she discovers she’s much tougher than she realized.

themes involve bravery, friendship, and believing in yourself

Overall, the book teaches kids important values like bravery, determination, honesty, friendship, and believing in yourself. Young readers will be inspired by Cat’s character growth and learn not to judge things at face value. The story promotes positive messages about standing up to injustice and fighting for the truth.

Reception and Reviews

Cat on the Run in Cat of Death! received positive reviews from critics and readers alike. On Goodreads, it holds an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars based on over 80 reviews. Many reviewers praised the book for its engaging story, fun illustrations, and appeal for emerging readers. According to reviews on Goodreads, readers found the book to be “hilarious,” “entertaining,” and “perfect for kids.”

The book earned a rating of 4 out of 5 stars from Common Sense Media. In their review, they called the book “a lot of fun” with “fantastically expressive illustrations.” They praised the silly humor, action-packed plot, and engaging format for early readers. Overall, they found it to be an entertaining graphic novel for kids.

Cat on the Run in Cat of Death! became a New York Times bestseller shortly after its release. It reached #1 on the Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover and Children’s Series lists. The book also appeared on bestseller lists from USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly. Its strong sales performance demonstrates its popularity among young readers.

Comparison to Other Blabey Books

Cat on the Run shares some similarities with Aaron Blabey’s other popular series, The Bad Guys. Both feature anthropomorphic animal characters on hilarious adventures with vibrant, energetic illustrations by Blabey. However, while The Bad Guys follows a group of criminal animals trying to reform, Cat on the Run focuses on a single cat protagonist evading danger.

Stylistically, Blabey brings his signature over-the-top humor and exaggerated, emotive characters to both series. The illustrations are full of action and physical comedy. Themes of friendship, morality, and redemption can also be found in both The Bad Guys and Cat on the Run.

A key difference is that Cat on the Run is Blabey’s first attempt at a graphic novel series, combining comic panels with his illustration style. The Bad Guys are traditional chapter books. Cat on the Run also features more mature themes about mortality, human cruelty, and animal welfare. Overall, Cat on the Run contains Blabey’s classic humor and art with a darker, graphic twist.

Significance and Impact

Aaron Blabey has become one of the most popular and significant children’s authors of the past decade. With mega-bestselling series like The Bad Guys, Pig the Pug, and Thelma the Unicorn, Blabey’s books have struck a chord with young readers around the world.

The Bad Guys series in particular has had an enormous cultural impact. The books have sold over 27 million copies globally and been translated into 42 languages. The New York Times called The Bad Guys “a smash hit” and they’ve remained on their bestseller list for years. The wild popularity of the series recently led to a major animated film adaptation in 2022.

the bad guys books and film cement blabey's cultural impact

Beyond sales and adaptations, Blabey’s books have staying power due to their humor, wit, and relatable characters. Children identify with the silly antics of Pig the Pug or the attempts by the Bad Guys to reform themselves into good guys. The illustrations are full of visual gags and the stories emphasize themes like friendship, empathy, and not judging a book by its cover.

As The Guardian noted, Blabey has a knack for giving children “what they want but smartly delivered.” This potent combination ensures his books delight kids while also keeping parents and teachers happy, cementing his cultural influence for years to come.

Adaptations and Spin-Offs

Cat on the Run has already spawned a sequel called Cat on the Loose that is set to be released in September 2023, with the official summary reading “After defeating the Cat of Death, social media star Cat the Cat is back in another hilarious illustrated adventure from bestselling author Aaron Blabey.”

Blabey has indicated that he envisions Cat on the Run as a long-running illustrated chapter book series for elementary school kids, with the potential for many more sequels to follow. Given the popularity of The Bad Guys books and movie, it seems likely the Cat on the Run series will also expand across mediums.

While no specific adaptations have been announced yet, the lighthearted humor and funny illustrations seem ripe for adaptation into film or TV. Blabey’s The Bad Guys was recently adapted into a successful DreamWorks animated movie, so an animated Cat on the Run movie or show seems like a strong possibility down the line. Fans will have to stay tuned to see if this relatable and amusing cat makes the leap to screens big or small.

Behind the Scenes

Cat on the Run in Cat of Death! is the first book in Aaron Blabey’s hilarious illustrated Cat on the Run series. As the creator of the popular The Bad Guys series, Blabey brings his signature humor and wit to this new cat-centric world.

In an interview, Blabey shared how the idea for Cat on the Run originated from his own pampered cat. He realized that a spoiled housecat suddenly forced to survive on the streets would make for an amusing character. Blabey played with cat stereotypes in creating the vain, melodramatic protagonist Cat on the Run.

The book’s dangerous chases and hijinks presented fun opportunities for Blabey’s energetic illustrations. He enjoyed capturing the expressions and antics of the characters. Blabey cites animator Chuck Jones and illustrator Quentin Blake as influences on his art style.

While the book is humorous, Blabey worked to give it heart as well. He wanted readers to connect with Cat on the Run’s journey and learn a subtle lesson about materialism. Blabey hopes the book entertains kids while also gently promoting empathy.

Bringing Cat on the Run to life was a creative challenge for Blabey. But the positive reception from readers, especially reluctant boy readers, has made the demanding process worthwhile. Blabey looks forward to developing the hilarious world and characters in future Cat on the Run books.

Read It Yourself

With its irreverent humor, sassy protagonist, and outrageous hijinks, Cat on the Run in Cat of Death! is sure to delight young and reluctant readers alike. Fans of The Bad Guys series will be excited to check out Blabey’s latest creation – the social media celebrity gone rogue, Cat on the Run. Her misadventures as she attempts to clear her name will have readers laughing out loud. The brilliant illustrations enhance the humor and action on every page.

This fast-paced book is perfect for ages 8-12, especially cat lovers and fans of funny animal tales. Parents may also get a kick out of the satirical sendup of internet fame. With wide appeal and kid-friendly hijinks, Cat on the Run is a great choice for a family read-aloud.

You can find Cat on the Run in Cat of Death! at your local library, bookstore, or order online from retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The kindle and audiobook versions are also available for digital reading or listening on the go. Don’t wait to meet the internet’s most wanted feline!

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