London: Michael Joseph, 1957. Early Printing. Octavo, publisher’s red cloth, spine gilt and stamped in black, original illustrated dust jacket.
"Peter thought that he had noticed the shine of tears in her eyes, though of course it couldn't be so, since he had never heard of cats shedding tears. It was only later he was to learn that they could both laugh and cry." Inscribed early UK printing of American editor and author Paul Gallico’s first cat book. A heartfelt parody of Kafka’s "Metamorphosis" for children, the narrative tells the story of Peter, a lonely young boy, who one day finds himself transformed into a cat. Under the care of a London tabby named Jennie who educates him on the tips and tricks of the feline world, Peter not only learns to survive as a stray but also makes his first true friend. An expert at capturing the essence of cats, Gallico went on to write Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God (1957) and The Silent Miaow (1964), an instructional manual for cats based upon "first-hand feline experience." Many of Gallico's books, including his best known novel The Poseidon Adventure (1969), were given motion picture adaptations. Inscribed to the front endpaper: "To Estelle Wolf / Sincerely Paul Gallico and /Jennie!" with a hand-drawn paw print captioned "her mark." Originally published in 1950, this is the eighteenth printing. Light foxing and offsetting to endpapers; unclipped dust jacket chipped at spine-head, with light rubbing to joints and edges. Very good. Item #4978