Introducing an educational book that brings to life the world of travel, music, science and friendship through the experiences of an unusually talented cat. Our hero, Visby, a gifted pianist, performs piano recitals while traveling to Europe on a cruise ship. At each port, Visby, curious to learn, gets himself into unexpected adventures. On land, he might be found running with Spanish cats in Barcelona, or conversing with French cats as they climb Paris’ Eiffel Tower, or joining a tour at Pompeii to learn about the volcano, or wandering through the Hermitage of St. Petersburg, or even falling in love with a fluffy white virtuoso violinist!

       Back on the ship Visby performs piano pieces from every country on the cruise’s itinerary. He shows his audiences how each piece of music reveals something about its culture. His repertoire includes American, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish, Russian and Estonian composers. Visby’s enthusiasm for exploring and learning is contagious as he shares a world of possibilities with readers of all ages.

Testimonies & Reviews

“Visby the Virtuoso: The Classical Cruising Cat offers a marvelous blend of fantasy and reality that is entertaining and educational for readers across a broad range of ages and backgrounds. As a member of the maritime community, and former executive of two major cruise lines, I am especially pleased with how this ‘Visby’ opens the magic and enjoyment of foreign cruise travel to young readers and future world travelers…the cruise industry’s passenger demographic of the future.”

—Ronald Thomason, VP Maritime Security Council

“Ms. Alitowski’s metamorphosis is ingenious! Her transformation into Visby the virtuoso pianist, and most informed little cat, immediately captures our imagination. We, children of all ages, can pack our bags, board the ship, and be spellbound by both his musical talents and his in-depth knowledge of composers and historical sites. Visby takes us on a journey filled with wonder. We not only cruise the great ocean with Visby, we are also swept to the comforting shores of Generosity and Promise.”

—Judit Kenyeres, Educational Psychologist

“In Visby the Virtuoso: The Classical Cruising Cat, author Liane Alitowski introduces readers to Visby, a black cat with a gift for piano playing. This intrepid adventurer sneaks onto a cruise ship and wows the passengers with his fantastic piano playing. Before he knows it, Visby has been hired to play for the passengers and his great seafaring adventure begins! Visby is a marvel of a cat—and a character that readers will surely want to know more about. His ability to regale an audience with his vast knowledge will keep readers riveted. This well-paced story is chock full of information and anecdotes and will be a fun read for lovers of cats, classical music and cruise ships.”

—Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review

“Visby the Virtuoso by Liane Alitowski is a modern day fable about a musically gifted and adventurous cat who finds himself on a cruise ship in the harbor of New York City, bound for some of the most beautiful and historic cities of Europe. This book is perfect for children, especially if you want them to learn about Europe and the various European musicians that have enriched our world with the classical music that has been enjoyed by many generations.”

—Maria Beltran, Readers’ Favorite

“In this debut children’s chapter book, a piano-playing cat who loves the great composers sails to Europe, embarking on memorable adventures. While there’s much educational material on cities, composers, and more, the tale doesn’t feel didactic, thanks to Visby’s passion for music and general delight in learning. He’s a charming presence with a kind heart…Passionate about music, sweet, humorous, and gently educational, with a special interest for cat lovers.”

—Kirkus Reviews