Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat by T. S. Eliot

Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat

Written by T. S. Eliot
Illustrated by Arthur Robins

3+ readers   Baby and Toddler   Poetry    
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Arthur Robins’s scratchy illustrations are full of humour and he’s proving to be the perfect partner for T.S. Eliot. Skimbleshanks is the third of the Old Possum poems Robins has illustrated and it’s another rousing success. The world Eliot describes might be long gone, but Robins makes it totally friendly and recognisable to children. Skimbleshanks the railway cat looks wonderful in his railwayman’s uniform, exuding just the right amount of benevolence and bossiness, and Robins has fun with the other characters too, choosing to make the passenger preparing for bed a little old lady, and adding a carriage of rowdy dogs – Skimbleshanks confiscates their football! A delightful picture book in its own right, and a great way to introduce young children to great poetry, they’ll soon be reciting the verse with you. ~ Andrea Reece


Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat by T. S. Eliot

All aboard as Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat, stars in the third picture-book pairing from Arthur Robins and T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's cats, set on the Night Mail train where Skimble won't let anything go wrong.

The picture books taken from Old Possum's Cats include -

Mr Mistoffelees The Conjuring Cat
Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat


Praise for Macavity!

‘I love MaCATity.’ (Me – It’s Macavity.) ‘Yes that’s what I said, MaCATity, because he looks like my cat and he is a very very funny naughty naughty cheat. And my name is on the cover (Arthur Robins).’ Robin, age 4, and mum, Donna

‘This was fun to read to my little sister. I read the story and she shouted “Macavity’s not there!” a lot and in her loudest voice.’ Hal, age 11

‘We loved this book! We read it once, then Hazel asked me again the next day to read the story about the cat “they can’t find”.’ Hazel, age 4, and mum, Shona

‘I like the funny police dog and the naughty cat!’ Otto, age 6

‘All the cats are naughty, aren’t they – but Macavity is the naughtiest.’ Seb, age 4

About the Author

T. S. Eliot

Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, of an old New England family. He was educated at Harvard and did graduate work in philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and Merton College, Oxford. He settled in England in 1915, where he was for a time a schoolmaster and a bank clerk, and eventually literary editor for the publishing house Faber & Faber, of which he later became a director.

He published his first book of poems in 1917.

He founded and, during the seventeen years of its publication (1922-1939), edited the exclusive and influential literary journal Criterion. In 1927, Eliot became a British citizen and about the same time entered the Anglican Church.

Eliot received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


32 pages


T. S. Eliot
More books by T. S. Eliot


Faber Children's Books an imprint of Faber & Faber

Publication date

5th November 2015




I love all the books they recommend & put up for me to review. I also love the fact that they give new authors the chance to share their boo

Daisy Pennock – age 15

I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman

LoveReading4Kids is a modern and creative way of emphasising the value and importance of books in this digital age #booksforlife

Amrit Bunet – Teen

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

Lovereading 4 schools