A spotlight on The Girl, the Cat & the Navigator by Matilda Woods

The Girl, the Cat & the Navigator by Matilda Woods is one of the six books shortlisted for this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize.

Here’s everything you need to know about this enchanting story.


‘Matilda Woods has crafted an enchanting fairytale about finding family and friendship in unlikely places. Reminiscent of a classic folktale, The Girl, the Cat & the Navigator feels as if it has always been in our consciousness. Woods’s writing is highly skilled and imaginative, and she paints wonderful emotional and geographic landscapes. This is a beautifully packaged book – every page made vibrant by Anuska Allepuz’s lovely illustrations – and an ideal family read-aloud.’

Kim Gruschow, Chair of the judging panel


Who should read this book?

The Girl, the Cat & the Navigator is suitable for independent readers aged 9+, or as a family read-aloud for ages 7+. Children who appreciate timeless adventures and magical tales, derring-do and high-seas action, as well as mystery and wonder, will be transported by this atmospheric book.


Watch out for…

The delightfully titled Otto Tattercoat and the Forest of Lost Things. It’s about a young boy who joins forces with the Tattercoats, a gang of brave orphans, to find his missing mother, and will be available in May of this year.


Meet the author…

Matilda Woods grew up in the small town of Southern Tablelands, Australia. She graduated from Monash University with a master’s of social work. Matilda splits her time between writing middle-grade fiction and working as a youth social worker. She currently lives in the same small town where she grew up, with her four chickens, three dogs, two cats, and one bird. This is also the second time Woods has been shortlisted for this prize. Her first book, The Boy, the Bird & the Coffin Maker, was shortlisted in 2018.


The winner of the 2020 Readings Children’s Book Prize will be announced in late April. You can read more about this year’s shortlisted titles here.

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