Visby the Virtuoso: Voyages on the Mediterranean
In this Visby the Virtuoso sequel, readers join Visby, a uniquely gifted cat, on a whirlwind cruise from Portugal to Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Israel. Accepting Captain Nilsen’s invitation to perform piano recitals aboard his cruise ship, Visby enchants passengers and crew with his special musical skills and infectious personality. He, himself, is delighted when talented locals come on board to show their art and perform their own folk music. In this way, he becomes enamored by Fado, Flamenco and Greek folk dancing, to name a few. Whether out at sea, or on terra firma, Visby shares captivating experiences with special friends, some old and some new.
Our Voyage on the Mediterranean brings us to exotic countries with a common past. Ancient ruins reveal how they were all once part of the vast Roman Empire. Nowadays, these neglected sites are home to communities of cats, some thriving, others barely surviving. Witnessing this, Visby’s heartstrings are pulled in ways he could never have anticipated. Caught between his fellow felines and humane humans, Visby learns something about himself. Ultimately, he is faced with a huge choice, one that will change his destiny.
Testimonies & Reviews
“Children hold a natural affinity for animals and they will fall in love with this adventurous and curious cat, opening the door to learning about music, travel, emotions, and diverse cultures. As Visby experiences the world and its challenges—overcoming fear of flying, forging new friendships and reuniting with old friends, trying new foods, exploring nature and the arts, and ultimately being of service to others—readers will delight in hearing and seeing the world through the perspective of this insightful and talented feline. By blending music and imagination, Visby the Virtuoso brings the world alive to young and old readers alike.”
— Liz Grauerholz, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of Central Florida, USA
“This book is a must for all lovers of children’s adventures! Author, Liane Alitowski, brilliantly takes the reader on a fantastic cultural, musical and feline journey through a host of colorful Mediterranean countries. Visby, a phenomenal pianist, enchants as he performs classical pieces and is introduced to world music. Woven throughout the story is love, drama, very touching moments and lots of humor. Beware – after reading this charming book to your kids, they will insist you book a cruise to search for this renowned, virtuoso cat!”
— Roglit Ishay, Pianist & Professor of Chamber Music , Hochschule für Musik, Freiburg, Germany
“An excellent book. Just as we find in her first book, Visby the Virtuoso: The Classical, Cruising Cat, Liane Alitowski continues to create magic in her sequel, Visby the Virtuoso: Voyages on the Mediterranean. Visby is a fantastic character who finds himself in interesting adventures. By combining fantasy, humor, exotic and real places, and classical music, Alitowski has created a colorful collage, with the result being beautiful literature. Visby has especially captivated my eight years old grandson: “Grampa, Visby and I became friends as soon as I started reading his first adventure. I always carry his book in my school backpack.” I have no doubt this great story will have the same effect for many readers around the world.”
— Octavio Leon, Florida, USA
“Visby the feline piano virtuoso sets sail across the Mediterranean in Alitowski’s music-filled children’s middle-grade sequel. Visby thought one seafaring adventure was enough until Captain Nilsen pleaded with him to entertain his passengers once again on a cruise through the Mediterranean. Joining the ship in Lisbon, Portugal, Visby picks classical pieces with a special connection to each port on the voyage, entertaining the guests with his piano playing and intimate knowledge of the compositions. He also goes ashore and explores ancient cities, discovering that many share an intimate connection with their feline residents. In Rome, he finds a Cat Sanctuary thriving in ruins that shelter the many strays and are a popular tourist attraction. In Turkey, the residents are especially kind toward the thousands of strays. So when Visby witnesses the horrific conditions of the cats in Caesarea, Israel, he is compelled to leave the cruise and help establish a similar shelter. Thus the Caesarea Center for Cat Conservancy is born with an inclusive goal: “No more hunger and darkness….All cats are welcomed here.” Taking a leap of faith and leaving the cruise for a worthy cause befits Visby’s credo: “Sometimes you just have to do scary things…the worrying part is probably scarier than the actual thing.” Visby’s story is heavy on educational content with a secondary message of kindness toward animals, both laudable topics for a children’s book…Pianist, Alitowski, infuses musical passion into the storyline…”