The Girl, the Cat and the Navigator: Character Guide by Matilda Woods

I’m delighted to welcome Matilda Woods to my blog today to talk about the characters in her new book, The Girl, The Cat And The Navigator.


The Girl, the Cat and the Navigator: Character Guide by Matilda Woods

The Girl – Oona Britt

Ten-year-old Oona Britt’s greatest dream is to set sail on the Northern Sea with her father. Unfortunately, Oona’s father never wanted a daughter. Stuck with seven of them, he decides to send them south to find husbands. Instead of going with her sisters, Oona sneaks onto her father’s whaling ship, The Plucky Leopard. This sets in motion an adventure which leads through the Northern Sea and into the Icelands: a place so cold and dark that even whales freeze in the never-ending night. At its end Oona is faced with a challenging choice: do something that will win the favour and love of her father or take a chance – the biggest risk of her life – and do something that will turn him against her forever.

The Cat – Barnacles

Barnacles is a two-hundred-year-old ginger sea cat who lives on board The Plucky Leopard. Sea cats have nine lives and live them on board nine ships. The Plucky Leopard is Barnacles’ ninth ship, and if l it sinks his final life will end and he will never rise to sail upon the Northern Sea again. Barnacles is usually grumpy, but lightens up when he plays the fiddle at dinner. His favourite song is The Northern Jigand his favourite human is the navigator, Haroyld Nordstrom. He hates stowaways and is not at all happy when Oona sneaks on board his ship.

The Navigator – Haroyld Nordstrom

Haroyld Nordstrom is the navigator of The Plucky Leopard. He uses the stars to guide the ship north on the yearly whale hunt. He is a kind and quiet old man who hopes to retire after the current hunt. Haroyld spends most of his time smoking his pipe (arctic strawberry is his favourite flavour), patting Barnacles and eating the rock cakes his wife, Mathilde, makesfor him before he sets sail each year.

Freydis Spits

Freydis Spits is a travelling fortune teller who can hear the future in sea shells. In the past, she has successfully foretold the sinking of The Great Red Fish, the disappearance of the whaler Roe and the Great Fire of Mournful Harbour. Unfortunately, she appears to be losing her touch and afterunsuccessfully predicting the birth of Captain Britt’s first son her life takes a downward turn.

The Older Britt Sisters

Oona has six sisters: Ina, Berit, Sissel, Trine and the twins, Onka and Plonka. Oona’s sisters hate living in the north and are very excited to go south and search for husbands. Trine is the only one who shows any kindness towards their youngest sister. She thinks Oona is brave and special and kind. Trine wishes she was like her, but she is too afraid to sneak aboard their father’s ship and travel north. Instead, she goes with her sisters to the south: a warm and bright land where princes live in every town and Northern ladies are so rare they’re seen as a collectors item.

Huge thanks to Matilda for this wonderful exploration of the characters in The Girl, The Cat And The Navigator, now available from all good bookshops. You can read my review of this breathtaking story that reads like the very best fairytales here.

About The Author…

Matilda Woods was born in 1989 and has been writing stories for the last seven years. She grew up in a small town near Canberra, Australia and splits her time between writing middle grade fiction and working as a youth worker. When she was younger she loved reading fantasy novels but now writes in the genre of magical realism.

Matilda graduated from Monash University in 2016 with a Masters of Social Work and hopes to continue working with (and writing for) children for many years to come. She currently lives in the same small town she grew up in with her four chickens, three dogs, two cats and one bird.

You can connect with her on Twitter and Goodreads.


Finally, huge thanks to Harriet at Scholastic for sending me a copy of this glorious story and inviting me to host Matilda’s post.



One thought on “The Girl, the Cat and the Navigator: Character Guide by Matilda Woods

  1. Dajo says:

    Thank you. Very much enjoyed this book and also The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker which had a wonderfully lyrical feel to it whilst still bringing its point across. 💖💖


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