The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Crabmeat the Carpet Cat by Mark Millicent

Hello Balloonists!

Dirigible Balloon friend and illustrator Mark Millicent has been working on a new story character. Mark told us that it’s all about a carpet cat called Crabmeat and he has produced three rhyming stories so far in the series. These books involve tales of a boy who makes his own cat out of an old carpet door mat and a magic crab shell helped by an aunty who wields magic shell power. Together they bring things to life: a carpet cat, some dinosaur bones and a robot made of junk.

Here's Mark to tell us more:

CRABMEAT the Carpet Cat

"CRABMEAT the Carpet Cat was an idea I had many years ago, and it’s only now that I have got around to putting pen to paper and brought him to life in print. I wanted a character that could easily be rendered by children — no matter their level of drawing ability. There is no wrong way to draw him as he’s not exactly anatomically correct! - but a sort of rudimentary cat shaped character. There is even a set of instructions in the first book should anyone have a hankering to make their own version of CRABMEAT.

Crabmeat is a cat made from a mat - an old door mat to be precise and named in honour of Uncle Billy’s magic crab shell. Unfortunately, Aunty’s Uncle Billy disappeared while crab fishing off the jetty as he slipped into the sea on some leftover spaghetti.
His friends presented Aunty with the shell of the magic crab that Billy had caught that day and it was her special ability with the magic shell that held the key, to bringing not just the trimmed and reshaped door mat to life, but other things too.

His mentor, master and co-creator would be Kevin whom he serves as loyal side kick. The two of them together open up a world of odd ball adventures chronicled in the series of books - which at present are the three editions — The first being Crabmeat the Carpet Cat, that illustrated Crabmeat’s creation. The second Crabmeat and the Dinosaur Bones about finding a dino skeleton on the beach. The third Crabmeat and the Robot - about a robot built from garage junk that Aunty puts to work as a reluctant cleaner. These are all tales of mischief and trouble that ultimately involve Kevin and Crabmeat and Aunty and her magic crab shell.

All’s well that ends well
with Aunty’s magic crab shell!

Sort of daft and silly really - but fun I hope.
Now available on Amazon."

Thank you Mark!

Here’s a taster of Mark’s brilliant artwork with excerpts from the three Crabmeat the Carpet Cat books …

The pictures and stories above are copyright (©) Mark Millicent 2023
Mark Millicent is a UK writer and illustrator based in the USA. He works mainly in the advertising and film world of Los Angeles living by a lake in the Santa Monica Mountains with his wife and family, a cat and a peacock. Besides the Crabmeat the Carpet Cat series his latest children’s book 'The Fantastic Rocket,’ about a rocket propelled dragonfly is available now on Amazon.

This article was edited and organised by Jonathan Humble

About the Writer

Jonathan Humble

Jonathan lives in Cumbria. His work has been published online and in print in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first collection of poetry, My Camel's Name Is Brian, was published by TMB Books in 2015. His second poetry book, Fledge came out in 2020 through Maytree Press. His poems for children have been shortlisted and highly commended in the Caterpillar and Yorkmix poetry competitions and he is the editor of The Dirigible Balloon. His poems Masterclass and This Work is Done were chosen as the Milk House Poem of the Year at the end of 2022 and 2023.