I’m reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld and enjoying it very much. (Thank you, Tina, for the recommendation.) I just got to the part where Deryn and the new boffin discuss the important scientific discoveries of her grandfather—how he observed that clover and honeybees flourished near villages, because the cats kept by the ladies in the villages kept down the populations of mice that might have destroyed the hives.
I was thunderstruck. Why, that was just like in The Old Ladies Who Liked Cats by Carol Greene!
Either Scott Westerfeld got the idea from Carol Greene (which I assumed to be the case) or they both—Greene and Westerfeld—were drawing on real scientific ideas.
As it turns out, Charles Darwin wrote about cats, clover, bees, and their interrelatedness. (Greene even explains this in her introduction.)
And I think the popularity of Leviathan should create a resurgence of interest in The Old Ladies Who Liked Cats. It’s not just a charming ecological folktale. It is a gripping adventure story, and it works wonderfully as a read-aloud, too!