Jenny Linsky, the famous little black cat of Greenwich Village, has never been to school before. When her master, Captain Tinker, sends her to a boarding school in the country to learn the special kwledge of cats-manners and cooperation-she is a little afraid, among strangers, and so far from home. As soon as she's settled in, taking off the red scarf that makes her feel brave, ather student named Pickles, the Fire Cat, is upto his usual mischief, chasing smaller cats with his fire truck hook and ladder. When he chases Jenny, she runs away from school terrified. Jenny soon realizes that the Captain would be disappointed if he found out she had left school. It's then that Jenny decides to stand up to Pickles. She returns to school and when Pickles next tries his tricks, he's surprised at the new Jenny. Pickles learns his manners and Jenny learns that t only can school be fun, but the friendships she makes there will last forever.
Esther Averill (1902-1992) began her career as a storyteller drawing cartoons for her local newspaper. After graduating from Vassar College in 1923, she moved first to New York City and then to Paris, where she founded her own publishing company. The Domino Press introduced American readers to artists from all over the world, including Feodor Rojankovsky, who later won a Caldecott Award. In 1941, Esther Averill returned to the United States and found a job in the New York Public Library while continuing her work as a publisher. She wrote her first book about the red-scarfed, mild-mannered cat Jenny Linsky in 1944, modeling its heroine on her own shy cat. Esther Averill would eventually write twelve more tales about Miss Linsky and her friends (including the I Can Read Book, The Fire Cat), each of which was eagerly awaited by children all over the United States (and their parents, too).