Synopses & Reviews
Charlie Ashanti is the son of two scientists who are kidnapped as the result of a dramatic discovery they've made (the cure for asthma, which is rampant in this near-future world). Ten-year-old Charlie decides to go in search of them, and uses his ability to speak Cat (which he's had ever since he was scratched by a leopard as a baby) to gain helpful information. The local cats of London point him in the right direction and even deliver messages from him to his parents and back. When Charlie finds himself aboard a floating circus that's heading to Paris, he befriends the circus lions, who become his further accomplices. He'll help them escape the circus as this first book in a trilogy draws to a close.
"British actor Jones's sonorous delivery instantly enchants listeners in this fine adaptation of Corder's (actually the pen name for a mother-daughter duo) debut novel about an unusually gifted boy and his family's connection to cats. Charlie knows that his scientist parents are working on important experiments all the time. But he had no idea that their latest project could put them all in such great danger. When Charlie comes home from school one day to find his parents have been kidnapped, he begins a heart-pounding adventure during which he must save his family by using his special power the ability to communicate with cats. He soon leaves the streets of London and gains passage (and a lion 'taming' job) with a floating circus, all the while picking up clues about his parents from felines in various ports. A daring escape from the circus, with lions in tow, eventually leads Charlie to some new and influential friends who vow to help him in his search for his parents. Simon compels listeners through the excitement with smooth pacing and a rhythm that sustains the perfect level of suspense. In his command, the numerous bad guys sound appropriately shady, and circus performers take on vibrant color. And readers are treated to lion dialogue as well. The story is planned to continue in two more Corder novels and hopefully two more Simon narrations. Ages 8-up. (Dec. 2003)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
(Narrator) Simon Jones compels listeners through the excitement with smooth pacing and a rhythm that sustains the perfect level of suspense.
(Jones's) imaginative presentation weaves together the florid vocabulary and intricate plot details as he brings diverse characters, human and animal, vividly to life. Booklist
About the Author
ZIZOU CORDER is the pen name for a mother-daughter team of authors. Louisa Young grew up in London and studied history at Cambridge. She has written another trilogy for adults featuring a belly-dancing, motorcycle-riding single mom (Baby Love, Desiring Cairo
, and Tree of Pearls
), as well as a non-fiction book, The Book of the Heart
Her ten-year-old daughter, Isabel Adomakoh Young contributed plot and character details, some of which mirror her own life--like Charlie, the hero of Lionboy Isabel is the child of an English woman and an African man and, also like Charlie, she suffers asthma.
The pen name Zizou Corder comes from Isabel's pet lizard, Zizu. They all live together in London.Originally from Wiltshire, England, award-winning narrator SIMON JONES is perhaps most often recognized as 'Arthur Dent' in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (both radio and TV versions) or as 'Bridey' in the classic TV mini-series "Brideshead Revisited".
He has been seen in such films as Privates in Parade, Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Miracle on 34th Street (remake), and Devil's Own; most recently on TV as a judge in OZ and as 'C.S. Lewis' in PBS's A Question of God; and regularly on stage, including 10 major roles on Broadway. In 2004 his audio book narrations won him AudioFile magazine's "Golden Voice" award, and Publisher's Weekly "Narrator of the Year."