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  • Hodder Children's Books
  • Hodder Children's Books

Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape

Dermot O Leary, Nick East

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For National Curriculum Key Stage 2, Interest age: from c 6 years, Adventure stories (Children's / Teenage), Animal stories (Children's / Teenage), Humorous stories (Children's / Teenage)

Meet Toto: she's no ordinary cat, and she can't wait to have an adventure with you! Join Toto for a funny animal escapade written by one of the UK's best-loved broadcasters. For fans of The Aristocats, The Secret Life of Pets, 101 Dalmatians and Atticus Claw Breaks the Law.

Purrfect for reading aloud or for children to curl up with and read alone, the story features brilliant black and white illustrations throughout. With gentle themes of friendship, inclusivity and winning in the face of adversity, this is a hilarious must-read for all animal-loving kids!

Toto the cat and her brother Silver live footloose and fancy-free in a townhouse in London. Toto is almost totally blind, and learned to trust her senses from a ninja cat-master who taught her back in Italy where they were born. By day, Toto and Silver seem to be ordinary cats, but by night, they love to have adventures!

One evening, news reaches Toto that a king cobra has escaped from London Zoo! Together with help from a very posh cat and two hungry tigers, Toto and Silver must investigate. Can they find the giant snake, before it's too late?

Dermot says: 'The idea for Toto first came to me when my wife and I rescued two stray cats from an olive grove in Italy. One of them, Toto, has been blind from birth, but we quickly realised she had ninja-like reactions. Like a lot of cat owners (or cat servants), we like to imagine our pets having secret lives when we're out or asleep. So before I knew it I was writing about Toto and her brother Silver's nocturnal adventures around London. I really hope that children who pick it up enjoy reading the adventures of our little Italian underdog (cat).'

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Dermot O Leary

Dermot O'Leary
Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape is the first book Dermot O'Leary has written for children, and was inspired by his real-life cats.

Dermot started his career on T4 for Channel 4, and went on to present and produce Big Brother's Little Brother. In 2007 Dermot landed the coveted role hosting ITV 1's The X Factor and presented eight consecutive series, deftly holding the judges to account on a weekly basis. Dermot made a much anticipated and triumphant return to the X Factor in 2016.

Dermot has also chaired the debate, and interviewed party leaders, for First Time Voters Question Time on BBC3. He regularly presents Unicef's SoccerAid, and is also the host of the National Television Awards. In 2014 Dermot hosted the groundbreaking and RTS-Award-winning 'Live from Space' season on Channel 4, and in 2017 he was proud to host the Brit Awards.

This is all alongside hosting his own multi-award-winning BBC Radio 2 show every Saturday (winner of three Sony Radio Awards), known for its solid support of new and emerging bands.

Nick East
Nick East is an acclaimed illustrator for children. He shares his studio in York with a whippet called Alfie and a huge lurcher called Basil. He is the illustrator of the bestselling Goodnight series by Michelle Robinson, which includes the Tim Peake-inspired title, Goodnight Spaceman, and more recently his brand-new picture book, Knock Knock Dinosaur.