The Blurb On The Back:
A magical adventure by the light of the moon.
Kitty is supposed to be looking after her friend’s pet hamster, Marvin, for the weekend, but disaster strikes when he is kidnapped!
Kitty must follow the kidnapper’s trail and return Marvin to his home safe and sound, before the night is out.
It’s time for Superhero Kitty to save the day!
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
When Kitty’s friend Emily brings home a new hamster called Marvin from the animal shelter, Kitty is really keen to meet him. Emily is going away that weekend to visit her grandmother so she asks Kitty stop by her house to make sure Marvin has enough water and food to eat. Kitty is delighted to help out but when she goes to Emily’s house she finds Marvin behaving very oddly – running around in his little wheel and making no attempt to answer when Kitty tries to talk to him – even though her superhero powers mean that all animals understand her.
Worried that something is wrong, Kitty – accompanied by her cat Pumpkin – decides to sneak out that night in her superhero outfit to see if Marvin is okay. Unfortunately Marvin has disappeared from his cage – it looks like he’s been kidnapped! Using her super senses, Kitty knows that she has to find him before Emily gets home and before anything bad happens to him in Hallam City …
The seventh book in this absolutely delightful superhero series for readers aged 5+ by Paula Harrison (with charming illustrations by Jenny Løvlie) features a cute hamster in peril, lots of cats, a superhero who wants to help and the power of teamwork and doing the right thing. It’s a lot of fun that younger children will enjoy reading – especially if they’re into kitties!
I hadn’t read the previous six books in this series but you really don’t need to in order to follow this one. Each book seems to operate as a self-contained story and Harrison gives you enough information about Kitty’s background and her superpowers to be able to follow the action – including a little character chart at the front with a brief summary of who each character is.
I have to start by saying that I thought Kitty’s superhero outfit was both charming and practical – dungarees with a long kitty tail, a long sleeve shirt, cape, mask and sneakers. Løvlie’s illustration of Kitty in her outfit really made me want to get one of my own and while I’m not against the whole pink thing for girls at all (girls like sparkly, frilly dresses and there’s no shame in that at all), it’s still so good to see this type of outfit getting some air time too. In fact, I thought Løvlie’s illustrations for this book were absolutely spot-on and really charming. They’re all done in shades of grey, black, white and orange – they really hold the attention without detracting from the text and she adds depth to the characters of Kitty and the various creatures in the book – from Kitty’s cat friends to Marvin the innocent hamster and the naughty rats who just want to eat sugar and cause trouble.
The story itself cracks on at a good pace. Harrison keeps the action going but you get a real sense of who Kitty is as a person – her sense of responsibility for taking care of Marvin while her friend Emily is away and her guilt at not trying to find out what was wrong before he disappeared. I think it’s something that a lot of children in the target readership will understand even if they haven’t directly have experienced it. Equally easy to relate to is Marvin and the circumstances of his disappearance – there’s a good lesson in empathy here as Kitty understands where he’s coming from and wants to help him with it. Harrison also puts an emphasis on doing the right thing without being preachy and I liked how the cats come together to help put right the havoc wrecked by the rats.
All in all, I thought the book was a delight and I think it’s a great book to give to young readers who are starting out if they love cats. In fact, even though I’m more a dog than a cat person, it’s almost enough to convert me to the feline cause. Almost …
KITTY AND THE KIDNAP TRAP was released in the United Kingdom on 6th May 2021. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.