cats, mystery

A Very Meowy Christmas (Klepto Cat Mystery – Book 38)

Author: Patricia Fry
Publisher: Matilija Press
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Cats
ISBN: 978-1-7332772-2-8
Pages: 273
Price: $8.95

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Rags, the cat, is back to work again in A Very Meowy Christmas. First, Alicia requires his services to help locate an important object from her past. But in the process, he’s injured and is forced to travel with the Ivey family on their Christmas vacation in the mountains.

When ten year-old Adam and his best friend, Simon, go missing on a family hike, it’s a good thing Rags is there, as he’s called back into action to try to find the boys. And what he ends up finding is a surprise to everyone. Christmas spirit is alive and well as the group of family and friends celebrates in a unique and meaningful way.

This was my first introduction to the Klepto Cat Mystery series, and as a novice reader, I was instantly lost in a myriad of family and friends who have probably been around since the very beginning. The opening pages, which jump ahead to a particularly tense moment in the story before returning to set the stage, didn’t help my feelings of confusion. But those who have been following since book one will probably settle happily into this latest read. The Christmas celebration was a heart-warming moment, and it was also nice seeing everyone’s warm welcome to Simon, the newest member of the family. A Very Meowy Christmas would be a great Christmas read for fans (current and new) of the Klepto Cat Mysteries.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

cats, children

Cat & Mouse

Author: Britta Teckentrup
Publisher: Prestel
Genre: Children / Board book / Cats
ISBN: 978-3-7913-7374-4
Pages: 24
Price: $14.95

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Little Mouse is running away from the black cat. Inside the house, to the stack of boxes, through a hole in the ground, and outside, he darts away from the cat. But after a while, he gets tired, and the cat is closing in on his tail. How is he going to escape?

Throughout this imaginative tale, cutouts show the various escape holes the mouse will be darting through, adding to the story’s charm. But children will have nothing to worry about once they see the final page, as Cat and Mouse curl up together for a nap. Cat & Mouse is sure to be a favorite with kids.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

cats, children

I Am the Boss of this Chair

Author: Carolyn Crimi
Illustrator: Marisa Morea
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2322-0
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95

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Oswald Minklehoff Honey Bunny III is the boss of this chair. He’s also the boss of the toilet paper, the back door, meals, the toy mouse, and his fluffy pillow with the golden tassels. So when the new kitten, Pom Pom, arrives and takes over Oswald’s turf, he’s very unhappy.

One day the cats begin to play together and Oswald has a revelation. Maybe he could share some things with Pom Pom. Even his chair. But there’s no way he’s ever going to share the fluffy pillow with the golden tassels!

Kids will giggle over Oswald’s determination to keep everything to himself, and smile when he finally realizes the joy in sharing with Pom Pom. I Am the Boss of this Chair is a really cute story with fun illustrations. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Beger

birds, cats, children

Max and Bird

Author & Illustrator: Ed Vere
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-4926-3558-1
Pages: 32
Price: $17.99

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Max, a black kitten, meets Bird, and would like to be friends. Bird is very young and doesn’t know how to fly, but Max thinks Bird might be fun to chase and will make a tasty snack. Bird thinks otherwise, and decides Max can help him learn to fly before chasing him. Max agrees and they begin to research the art of flying.

Finally, Bird achieves his goal with Max’s full support and encouragement. And in the process of teaching Bird to fly, Max realizes that it simply wouldn’t be very nice to eat Bird, now that they are good friends.

Max and Bird are adorably illustrated in a minimalistic style with big, bold eyes and expressive appearances that kids will love. This cute story will appeal to everyone, and parents won’t get tired of reading it over and over again, as it quickly becomes a family favorite.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

cats, children, education

Big Cat

Big Cat
Author & Illustrator: Ethan Long
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Children / Reading / Cats
ISBN: 978-0-8234-3538-8
Pages: 32
Price: $14.95

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Big Cat lives with a little girl who thinks he’s fun. Rather than just letting him sleep, she wakes him up, dances with him, dresses him up, and gives him a hug. Using simple sentences beginning with “Big Cat can…” this I Like to Read Book introduces children to one syllable words. Humorous illustrations demonstrate Big Cat’s patience with his young playmate. This book would be an enjoyable addition to classroom libraries.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

cats, children

Lazy Hero Cat: The Rise of the Nap

Lazy Hero Cat - The Rise of the Nap
Author: Stanford Crow
Illustrator: Christian Paniagua
Publisher: Bliss Group Books
Genre: Children / Cats
ISBN: 978-1940021232
Pages: 70
Price: $8.99

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Lazy Hero Cat of Egypt: Bubastis the cat is very lazy. He sleeps all day on top of the sarcophagus of Queen Nefertari, too lazy to look, listen or smell anything. So he doesn’t move at all when two tomb robbers break in to steal from the sarcophagus. But being lazy is just the right way to handle these thieves. In a comedy of errors, Bubastis manages to knock them both out, just by doing nothing. And the next day, he is hailed as a hero when the men are discovered in the tomb.

Lazy Hero Cat and the Pirates: Bubastis “Bub” the cat is back and this time he’s sunning himself on the bank of the Nile, enjoying a cozy catnap. When the river floods, he’s too lazy to notice he’s floating away. Pirates net his cat bed and bring him on board their ship to catch rats. Bub just continues to snooze, so the pirates get angry and make him walk the plank. But Bub has no intention of doing anything but sleep. Luckily for the pirates, his laziness will pay off in ways they never expected.

Lazy Hero Cat and the Dragon: Bubastis the cat is sleeping by a volcano on an island. When the volcano explodes, he flies through the air, landing in a cave inhabited by a dragon. Soon he finds himself inside the dragon’s belly along with a knight. But instead of being concerned, Bub keeps on sleeping, and as the knight pets him, he begins to purr. Dragons aren’t used to purring cats in their bellies, and soon his ongoing slumber benefits both the knight and the dragon.

Lazy Hero Cat:The Rise of the Nap is a delightfully humorous read. Kids will really enjoy these fun stories.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

cats, dogs, graphic novel

Graphic Classics Vol. 25: Canine / Feline Classics

Graphic Classics - Canine & Feline Classics
Authos: Ray Bradbury, P. G. Wodehouse, Algernon Blackwood, Robert E. Howard, Franz Kafka, Saki, Edward Lear, Joe R. Lansdale, Carl Sandburg, Joseph Jacobs, H. P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce
Editors: John Lehman, Tom Pomplun
Illustrators: Dragan Kovacevic, Neale Blanden, Milton Knight, Senthil Kumar, Evert Geradts, Hunt Emerson, Shary Flenniken, Jim McMunn, J. B. Bonivert, John Findley, Shepherd Hendrix, Randy DuBurke
Publisher: Eureka Productions
ISBN: 978-0-9825630-8-3
Pages: 144
Price: $19.95

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If you’re looking for warm and fuzzy animal stories, you won’t find them in this book. Instead, dark tales like The Emissary, Ancient Sorceries, The Beast from the Abyss, and Dog, Cat and Baby fill these pages, along with the appropriately somber illustrations. A few cheerier tales in The Owl and the Pussycat, Ulysses and the Dogman, and What I Learn from Dogs/Cats are interspersed to lighten things up.

Teens (and adults) can augment their literary knowledge by reading these abridged classics. Illustrations are provided by several talented authors, as these stories come to life in graphic novel form.

Reviewer: Alice Berger