A cat which gains amazing and magical powers by tapping a seemingly boring old stone is the star of a delightful book by Ropley author Val Anne Lee.

Charley Supermog is the tatty-eared pet of Jemima, a girl living in a rural Dorset village sometime between the dawn of inter-continental air travel and the emergence of the home computer.

Charley’s powers last for around a year, during which time he helps two old ladies beat the queues for eye operations in audacious fashion and passes on a premonition to save the lives of men in peril at sea.

In between Jemima comes into money, the vicar and schoolteacher get hitched, and two bullying rich kids are taught a lesson.

Val’s novel is 267 pages and aimed at older children, but illustrations by Simon Chadwick give extra insight into the key characters and incidents.

Charley’s powers turn him into a humanised cat with a snazzy wardrobe, including a miniature white jumpsuit to imitate Elvis Presley in Las Vegas.

I promised Val, pictured, who has just turned 80, that I would read her book while lounging by the pool on holiday in Portugal. It was the perfect way to while away the hours spent watching my six-year-old daughter swim and I think she will appreciate it in a few years’ time.

Charley Supermog is available from Val’s website kidstories.co.uk, priced £8.

Paul Coates