Award-Winning Books and Their Cats

We’ve seen a lot of kitties here at Independent Publisher through the IPPY and Moonbeam awards. (We’ve also seen a lot of books with cats in their titles, even if only those pesky humans are involved.) Here are a few highlights from over the years.


2000 IPPY Audio Fiction - Unabridged

Finalist: Cats Have Angels Too, by Monica Dobbyn Watkins (Angelaura & Co.)


2011 IPPY Literary Fiction

Gold: The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats, by Hesh Kestin (Dzanc Books)


2013 IPPY Environment/Ecology/Nature

Gold: Fierce Beauty: Preserving the World of Wild Cats, by Bhagavan Antle (Earth Aware Editions)


2013 Moonbeam Picture Book - Preschool

Bronze: Colorful Cats, written and illustrated by Karen Ann


2017 Moonbeam Board Book

Bronze: Ela Cat in the Jungle, by Niki Knaub; illustrated by Kelsi Jo Silva (Good Luck Black Cat Books)


2017 Moonbeam Animals/Pets

Bronze: Chicken: A Comic Cat Memoir, written and illustrated by Terese Jungle (t.jungle Design)


2018 IPPY Animals/Pets

Silver: Welcome Home: An Animal Rights Perspective on Living with Dogs & Cats, by Nathan & Jennifer Winograd (Almaden Books)


2019 IPPY Canada-West – Best Regional Fiction

Gold: Fat Cats: Book Four in the Dyed in the Green Series, by George Mercer (Self-Published)


2020 IPPY Children’s Picture Book (All Ages)

Bronze: The Artist Who Loved Cats: The Inspiring Tale of Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, by Susan S. Bernardo; illustrated by Courtenay Fletcher (Inner Flower Child Books)



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Cats and Books

Famous Felines in Literature

Why are we talking about cats this month? Well, for one, my editor asked me why after a decade of writing for Independent Publisher I haven’t tried to sneak in a story about cats. (As the mother of three—and a neighborhood stray—this is surprising to me too.)

For another, it’s October, which means witches and their accompanying spooky cats are out and about. In fact, October 29 is actually National Cat Day. So, indulge me this month, as we could all use a purrfect distraction from 2020.

For the Kids

  • Most Famous Feline: Pete the Cat is always up for a new adventure with the kiddos (including Halloween hijinks)
  • Runner Up: Splat the Cat (no relation) is another great series, with picture books and early readers available
  • Classic Cat: We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention The Cat in the Hat, who somehow managed to combine babysitting and towering red and white striped hats
  • Cool Cat: Brendan Wenzel’s They All Saw a Cat is a unique exploration of perception and imagination
  • Under the Radar Kitties: I’m a huge fan of the Max the Brave series, in which a courageous little black cat hunts monsters, meets the moon, and befriends a bird

For the Tweens and Teens

  • Most Famous Feline: The Warriors series gives us dozens of furry friends to cheer for, whether they are wild animals or heroic housecats
  • Runner Up: Everyone loves magic, purple-eyed Faithful from the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce
  • Classic Cat: Who is more classic (and creepy) than the Cheshire Cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?
  • Cool Cat: This obviously has to go to Luna, the black cat from Sailor Moon, beloved in all adaptations of the original manga
  • Under the Radar Kitties: A Schneider award-winning novel, A Mango-Shaped Space, centers on a girl with synesthesia and her beloved cat. (Just be sure to stock up on tissues!)


For the Grown-Ups

Wishing you all a very happy October and, of course, an even happier National Cat Day. Meow!


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Illustration credit: Vecteezy

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Jillian Bergsma Manning is a contributing editor for Independent Publisher. She loves reading and writing but not arithmetic. Follow her on Twitter at @LillianJaine or on her blog at