Kool Kat Charlie of Cocoa Beach
by Ruby H. Happel-Holtz
Trafford Publishing

"You must always mind Steve and John too, and don't get mixed up with the wrong cats; don't stay out too late, and be careful of Cocoa Beach dogs."

If not for bad luck, Kool Kat Charlie might not have any luck at all, or so it seems, as author and artist Ruby H. Happel-Holtz brings to the pages of her recent children's book, the humorous adventures of a real-life, spirited feline. He has a prehensile tail, and can dance the twist. He's been mistaken for a panther, and spent time in animal lock-up. Charlie's definitely not your average cat.

Orphaned by his own mother, Charlie was raised by a nice human family, then uprooted from his home on Merritt Island, FL to a surfer’s paradise at Cocoa Beach. Here, the cat with a mischievous nature finds trouble around every new corner. Introduced to the notorious "Cape Canaveral Crushers" gang, Charlie ultimately proves himself to be both a worthy adversary and ally. Charlie encounters both friends and foes of the human and animal kind. He narrowly escapes death, charms the local lady cats, and defends their honor. As a final ultimatum to his continuous shenanigans, Charlie gets relocated to the country.

While not a native of the south, the author does an admirable job of capturing the flavor and essence of the Florida coast. From the traffic of AIA, to the patio beach apartments, waterfront shack bars, and surfside restaurants, her details are authentic. Her illustrations reflect a primitive, childlike style. The lines and textures of her colorful works suggest the use of several mediums, from pastels and paints to crayons and photographic collage. While Happel-Holtz's overall storyline might be a bit involved for the youngest of readers, older youngsters should enjoy this "kool" cat's crazy antics, and his happily ever after outcome.

Return to USR Home