by P.I. Maltbie, Illustrated by Daniel Miyares

Charlesbridge, $15.95, 32 pages

Bambino and Mr. Twain is a masterpiece of children’s literature. The story is about how Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, shut himself off from the world after his wife Livy died. That part is true, but this story is how a cat named Bambino got Mr. Twain to see the folly of shutting himself off from his friends and admirers. Is it a work of fiction, or the real story? Only Sam and Bambino will ever know the truth of that.

Bambino and Mr. Twain is brilliantly written and well researched by P. I. Maltbie, and beautifully illustrated by Daniel Miyares. As a long time fan of Mr. Twain’s work, I must say you did him proud, as they say here in the south. Around here, there is no higher compliment. The only thing I wonder about is what age group it’s for. It’s not for the very young, they wouldn’t understand. Any Twain fan will love it. Hopefully, this book will introduce a new generation to Mr. Twain’s writings. In today’s sound-byte world, maybe not. At least with this book in the educational arsenal, there is a chance. Maybe the Twain Shall Meet after all.

David Broughton