From the publisher: Visiting Brazil, an earthquake hits and separates a family from their beloved cat, Purrball. Purrball's mad dash leaves her lost in a jungle where she becomes fast friends with a very clever sloth named Burrball. The two quick-witted animals embark on a journey to find Darryl, the loving and loyal boy who longs for his adorable missing cat. Witty word rhythms and rich illustrations make Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil an engaging read-aloud story. An alluring tale of friendship, family, ingenuity and persistence.
Buy Link: Amazon
What inspired you to write this book?
Author Anne Zoet: The story hit me on a day that I took out for myself away from my high tech work. I was having a massage, which is when I zone-out and don’t think about anything. Oddly, this time, I started creating the Purrball and Burrball storyline the more and more I unwound. I was so relaxed that the whole thing unfolded start to finish.
How would you describe the characters of Purrball and Burrball?
Smart, kind, resourceful and they’re team players. Animals are invariably way more clever than we humans give them credit for. I’ve seen my cats use incredible logic to alter a situation they’re in. I once had a cat run away in a place she didn’t know (the worst weeks of my life searching every day) but she found her way back, though completely unfamiliar with the surroundings. I have another cat, my outdoor cat, who you can see trotting alongside opossums and raccoons in evenings. That scared me so much at first, but eventually we’ve come to see that he has a real relationship with them. He’s so smart and the more I see the wildlife interact with him, the more I see them as clever and accepting and even friendly. The Purrball and Burrball characters came to me before I moved to this area and could witness my cat and his outdoor adventures. But this experience really solidified how Purrball and Burrball should be portrayed as a team. I think that my cat’s experiences with wildlife show that animals are capable of very unexpected bonds with one another.
Why did you choose to write about a cat and a sloth?
Why did you choose to write about a cat and a sloth?
I’m crazy about both domestic and wild animals and it is a passion that just gets deeper all the time. I’ve done a lot of research on cats (on nutrition and behavior) as well as love to build cat structures and make toys for them. And, I do not know who could look at a sloth and not smile! They have the sweetest faces and they have so much more to them than the “sloth” slowness we think of. They’re rather industrious buggers and have some funny quirks, like the wildlife that grows in their fur. I firmly believe they should never be pets and should be kept wild. While the story is pure fantasy (as are stories where animals communicate with phones!), I really want to keep one a pet and the other wild and be true to my feelings about that and it would be so lovely to pass all that along to children!
How do Purrball and Burrball use technology in the book?
Purrball, the cat, is unable to send a critical text message, so she asks Burrball, the sloth, if he could tap with his toes to write it. Maybe that’s my wish: I wish my cats would find a way to text me what they’re thinking, lol.
Why did you decide to set the story in Brazil?
It had to be set in the natural habitat of a sloth. I’ve always wanted to see a Brazilian rainforest, so I just created my own. It is roughly in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil and their plane arrives in Sao Paulo. Earthquakes are incredibly rare in that region, so all the more surprising that one happens when they arrive. After setting my sights on this area, I’ve seen dozens of photos of both Sao Paulo and the Atlantic Forest that make me long to go there! It is on my bucket list.
Did any of your three cats influence the character of Purrball, either in physical likeness or personality?
All three: one has the coloring of Purrball (I love grey kitties, although I suppose Purrball is a bit blue, really) and she has some cute characteristics—the scene where Purrball is looking up curiously at Burrball is so her! I have another onn who is a squat and roundish cat with intense eyes and sitting frontally she looks like a black and white version of Purrball. And the last cat is the most clever cat you could imagine. I rolled them all into one.
Will we see the duo return in a future book?
They have many adventures ahead! If a picture book were not a short thing, I’d probably be just finishing up chapter 18 at this time because I have so many ideas for Purrball and Burrball. But yes, there’s one in the works already as well as a few other animal adventures that are rattling around in my head.
If there's a child in your life who loves cats, wild animals, and tales of adventure, then Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil is sure to capture their imagination.
Purrball the cat is moving to Brazil with his loving family, but when an earthquake strikes he gets scared and runs away. He runs into a strange legged creature, a three-toed sloth he names Burrball because he looks like the burrs that get stuck in the cat's fur. Burrball's claws are the purr-fect shape to text Purrball's humans to come and get him using the cellphone and charging cable that are still wrapped around his leg from when he fled! There's still trouble to be found before Purrball and his family are reunited, though.
The technology aspect of the story is especially clever in our tech-obsessed world, and the illustrations are adorable, the rhymes are clever, and the immediate friendship that forms between animals as different as a cat and a sloth is a great lesson for kids.
Giveaway: We have one paperback copy of this book available to give away to a US resident. To enter, simply leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen by Random.org on Friday, September 9th at noon eastern.