A Bridge Too Fur

Marmalade and her crew of construction kittens are in high demand!

Their latest assignment (and biggest job yet) is to build the new Mewburg bridge. But with the bridge comes the one thing cats hate most of all—water! As the team struggles to face their fears and do their jobs, they are forced to get help from some unlikely allies. . . slobbery, car-chasing DOGS.

A Bridge Too Fur has even more puns and wordplay than the first installment in the series, Meet the House Kittens. Both books show the importance of not judging others based on their appearance. While the theme is repeated several times, the examples are integrated into the story so the message doesn’t sound like a lecture. For example, when Bubbles says, “Sometimes our eyes see what we want to see, Marmalade. Like how people used to see us only as adorable little kittens.”

Another positive aspect of the story is when Marmalade realizes he had “been refusing to give these dogs a fair chance.” Instead of trying to deny his actions, Marmalade apologizes and makes changes. When Marmalade does this, the dog accepts the apology and says, “Cats and dogs are different. We’ve had to prove ourselves to people in different ways. You are more than just cute and adorable. And I am more than just a slobber factory that chases cars.”

The bright, comic-like illustrations are displayed in 1 to 3 large panels. Each page has 0 to 6 sentences that appear in quote boxes. The illustrations and text boxes make it easy to understand the plot. However, younger readers may need help with some of the more difficult words, such as demolished, coordinate, and landlubbers.

With adorable animals, puns, and humorous illustrations, A Bridge Too Fur will appeal to a wide variety of readers. A Bridge Too Fur is fun to read and will encourage readers not to make assumptions about others. If you’re looking for more graphic-novel, animal fun THEN check out the Bird & Squirrel Series by James Burks.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • None

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • When a Marmalade is confused, he says, “What the–?!”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Meet the House Kittens

All Marmalade wants to do is build things. She is, after all, a trained architect. She’s also a distractingly adorable kitten.

Fed up with not being taken seriously because she’s so cute, Marmalade bands together with a handful of other aspiring builders—all of them kittens. But in a world where humans call the shots, can the Kitten Construction Company prove their worth . . . without giving up the very things that make them kittens?

Meet the House Kittens has instant appeal because of the adorable cats on the cover. Many readers will be able to relate to Marmalade, who just wants to be taken seriously. Everyone assumes that an adorable cat’s only job is to be cute so humans will stare at him. Readers will laugh as Marmalade meets other kittens who are also underappreciated. In the end, the kittens find an unlikely ally, who helps the Kitten Construction Company get the recognition they deserve.

The bright, comic-like illustrations are displayed in 1 to 3 large panels. While the illustrations mostly focus on the kittens, the adults have a variety of skin tones. Each page has 0 to 6 sentences that appear in quote boxes. Even though the story is a graphic novel, younger readers may need help with some of the more difficult words, such as irresistibly, version, and construction. In addition, readers may not understand all of the construction terms. For example, Professor von Wigglebottom says, “I am licensed and bonded to work masonry and lumber!”

Readers will enjoy seeing two sides of kittens—the fun, playful side and the more serious, professional side. The adults who are awed by the kittens’ cuteness also add some humor. Even though Meet the House Kittens is packed full of humor and kitten cuteness, the story shows the danger of making assumptions based on names or appearances. Green builds a graphic novel that is the perfect blend of humor and teaching. Parents may want to use Meet the House Kittens to start a discussion on how we judge others and why that is wrong. If you’re looking for another humorous graphic novel, check out the Pets on the Loose Series by Victoria Jamieson.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • A man chases Bubbles with a broom.

 Drugs and Alcohol

Marmalade goes to a café to “drown my sorrows.” He orders, “One saucer of milk! And keep ‘em coming!”

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Lost in the Snow

Fluff, a barn cat, is desperate to find a home of her own. Sadly, no one seems to want her. Then a little girl named Ella comes to the farm where Fluff lives. Ella begs her mother to let her take the kitten home, but her mother says, “No.” What happens to kittens that nobody wants?

Lost in the Snow alternates between Fluff’s and Ella’s points of view. While most people think Fluff is scrawny and ugly, Ella sees the beauty of Fluff and she is devastated because her parents won’t let her bring Fluff home. Soon Ella’s parents give in, but when they return to the farm, they discover that Fluff has run away.

Fluff becomes lost as she decides to look for Ella. While Fluff has always been shy and skittish, she soon learns to stick up for herself. While the conclusion is predictable, readers will love the happy ending because Fluff and Ella finally find each other.

Animal lovers will enjoy Lost in the Snow with its simple plot and realistic conflicts. Cute black and white illustrations appear every one to four pages, which helps break up the text. Younger readers will need help reading Lost in the Snow because of the advanced vocabulary and sentence structure. While all of the Pet Rescue Adventures are similar, each book has different characters and enough plot changes to keep the stories interesting. Holly Webb has written 40+ animal stories, which will keep readers busy for many, many hours. However, animal lovers may also want to check out The Rescue Princesses Series by Paula Harrison for more animal rescue adventures.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • When the adults aren’t looking, a boy “held Fluff out at arm’s length and made a disgusting face at her. . . He grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and poked her angrily. . . He made a growling noise.”
  • When a boy is mean to Fluff, her “fur stood up on end. She hissed angrily at Nathan, then sank a mouthful of sharp little teeth into the finger that he was poking her with. He yelped and dropped her.” Fluff runs away.
  • Fluff is standing on a wall when a tomcat “made a low growling noise as he inched toward her. Then, in one quick movement, he lifted one of his enormous paws and cuffed Fluff around the head, sending her flying. Dazed, Fluff landed badly on pavement below.” Fluff is scared but uninjured.
  • Fluff sneaks into a store and begins eating dog food. Then a dog “chased Fluff out onto the pavement, his teeth only inches from her tail. . . [Fluff] stood nose to nose with the little dog and snarled, her tail twitching. Then as he started to bark again, she shot out a paw and raked her tiny claws down his muzzle.” The dog’s owner throws a newspaper at Fluff and she runs away.
  • A fox “grinned at Fluff, showing his enormous teeth. Fluff was trapped, but she wasn’t giving up. . . She fluffed up her fur and hissed defiantly, as much to make herself feel brave as anything else. . . Fluff batted at it angrily with one tiny paw. It was like hitting a rock.” Fluff and the fox end up becoming friends.

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • A boy calls Fluffy a “ratty little thing.”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

The Kitten Nobody Wanted

When Mia loses her beloved cat, Sandy, she can’t ever imagine having a cat again. Sandy was the best cat in the world, and Mia never wants to forget him.

Mia’s best friend, Emily, is thrilled when her cat, Snowball, has kittens. Emily desperately wants Mia to see the kittens, but for a long time Mia can’t bring herself to. Mia finally visits and falls in love with a small, shy kitten that she names Whiskers. Everyone can see that Mia and Whiskers are perfect for each other, but is Mia ready to give him a home?

In The Kitten Nobody Wanted, Mia struggles with the loss of her cat. She doesn’t want to ever forget him. When Emily’s cat has kittens, Mia’s refusal to see the kittens upsets Emily. The two friends talk about the problem and try to understand each other’s point of view. The girls’ friendship is sweet and the girls clearly care about each other. Mia’s parents, grandmother, and Emily’s mother all try to help Mia feel better about losing her cat.

While most of the story is told from Mia’s point of view, the ending of the story incorporates Whiskers’ point of view, which allows the reader to understand that Mia and Whiskers belong to each other. While the story revolves around Mia’s grief, each person in Mia’s life is portrayed in a positive manner.

The Kitten Nobody Wanted is a sweet story that will appeal to any animal lover. Black and white illustrations appear every one to four pages, which helps break up the text. Even though the story is appropriate for young readers, the vocabulary and sentence structure is more advanced. However, the story would be a good choice for parents to read aloud to their children. The Kitten Nobody Wanted is realistic fiction that is entertaining and shows positive relationships, while teaching the importance of giving pets a good home.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • None

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

The Case of the Phantom Cat

In book three of Holly Webb’s The Mysteries of Maisie Hitchins, twelve-year-old Maisie and her dog, Eddie, are invited to join Maisie’s friend, Alice, on a trip to the country. But there’s something strange about the manor where they’re staying. Odd noises, horrid smells, and spectral sightings abound. Alice is terrified, but Maisie is skeptical. She doesn’t really believe in ghosts. Does she? There must be another explanation for the odd happenings, and Maisie plans to use her detecting skills to find out just what it is!

Maisie and Alice are friends despite being from different social classes. While Alice goes to French lessons, Maisie is dusting, cleaning, and running errands. The story hints that Maisie isn’t a proper friend for Alice because of their social class. Readers may wonder why the governess, Mrs. Sidebothan is rude to Maisie and expects her to help the servants clean. Mrs. Sidebothan is snooty and lazy which allows the girls to make fun of her. For example, Maisie “comforted herself that at least she didn’t have a name that sounded exactly like Side Bottom. And the bottom to match.”

The mystery revolves around strange noises, a bad smell, and a ghost-like cat. The story is spooky without being scary and the girls show bravery when they investigate the strange happenings. In the end, Maisie is able to discover a plausible reason for each thing that was attributed to ghosts. Readers will enjoy seeing Maisie and Alice band together to solve the mystery.

Even though the mystery is solved in a satisfactory way, The Case of the Phantom Cat has an abrupt ending that leaves the readers with plenty of questions. Despite this, readers will enjoy exploring a strange house with secret passages and how Maisie’s dog, Eddie, helps solve the mystery. While the content is appropriate for younger readers, they may need help with the difficult vocabulary. The characters use words and phrases that fit with the old-fashioned time period, such as guts for garters, insolent, hogwash, and stickler.

The story ends with reading comprehension questions as well as information about the time period, such as explaining how Calves’-foot jelly is made. Even though The Case of the Phantom Cat is the third book in the series, the books do not need to be read in order. Readers who want a little ghostly fun will enjoy The Case of the Phantom Cat. With eight short chapters and cute black and white illustrations, The Case of the Phantom Cat gives readers a chance to see if they can piece together the mystery’s clues themselves.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • None

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • Alice says “oh drat” once.

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Bird & Squirrel On Ice

After Bird and Squirrel crash land in the South Pole during a raging blizzard, a penguin named Sakari thinks Bird has come to rid her village of a hungry Killer Whale. But when Squirrel finds out that Bird will actually be fed to the Killer Whale as a sacrifice, they hatch a crazy plan to escape. With good timing, a little luck, and help from Sakari, they just might make it out alive. Or they might end up as whale food!

Bird & Squirrel on the Run consisted of funny cat chases and misfortunes. While Bird & Squirrel On Ice has more of a storyline, there is less interaction between Bird and Squirrel. For much of the story, Squirrel is trying to save Bird’s life, while Bird is clueless, convinced that Squirrel is just jealous. The storyline has a darker tone and revolves around Bird being sacrificed to a whale.

The story’s serious tone is offset by the funny chases and the introduction of Sakari’s penguin family. Sakari and her father disagree about sacrificing Bird; in the end, Sakari proves that she has a “mighty spirit and an even mightier heart.” Many readers will enjoy seeing a female character save the day. Because of Sakari’s determination to listen to her heart and Squirrel’s dedication to his friend, Bird is saved in the end.

Interesting characters, slapstick humor, puns, and a fast-paced plot combine to create an entertaining graphic novel. The story is illustrated with brightly colored panels. Much like a cartoon, the illustrations use exaggerated facial expressions to add to the humor. Each page contains one to six simple sentences. Bird & Squirrel On Ice will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Bird and Squirrel’s silly antics will keep readers interested while they explore family dynamics and jealousy.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • A penguin stabs Squirrel with a spear. Squirrel takes off running and yells, “Something bit me!!”
  • A seal jumps out of the water and tries to eat a penguin. The penguin attacks the seal with her spear, and the seal jumps back into the water. The scene is illustrated over two pages.
  • Sakari discovers that her father plans to sacrifice Bird to a whale. Sakari tells her father, “It isn’t his sacrifice to make. You have to stop it.”
  • Before Bird can be sacrificed, Sakari jumps into the ocean and attacks the whale with her spear. The whale tries to eat Sakari. She swims out of the bay. While Sakari is leading the whale away, Squirrel tries to break a snow bridge. As Squirrel is working, a seal smacks him. Bird begins throwing rocks at the seal. In the end, everyone is safe from the whale. The scene is illustrated over 14 pages.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • Squirrel tells Bird, “You’re the most self-centered birdbrain I’ve ever met!”

Supernatural

  • Squirrel goes to see a woman who gives him advice. The woman says, “The fire shall provide the light you seek. One cannot be found until one is lost.” Squirrel looks into a fire’s smoke and sees a vision.

Spiritual Content

  • None

Star Dreams

Flame meets Jemma Watson in an alley, and this ordinary girl soon realizes that she is dealing with an extraordinary kitten. Flame’s magic powers come in handy as Jemma auditions for dance school while trying to look after her younger siblings. But the fun can’t last forever as Flame senses his enemies close by and must return to his kingdom. . .

Jemma loves having Flame, and she takes him everywhere she goes, including school. Flame often uses his magic to help Jemma out. One time, Flame’s magic is too much, which creates a funny food fight at school. Readers will fall in love with Flame as he uses sparkly magic to help Jemma with everyday problems.

Jemma loves to dance and is excited about trying out for a dance class. When the new girl, Fran, asks Jemma if she can come over, Jemma is nervous. Jemma knows that some kids think Fran is a snob. “But, she [Jemma] hadn’t had the chance to get to know her yet. Anyway, she liked to make up her own mind about people.” Because Fran has new clothes and her mom drives an expensive car, Jemma is worried to invite her over. Jemma doesn’t want Fran to see her run-down house; however, Jemma gets over her fear. When Fran comes over, she doesn’t make a comment on Jemma’s house.

Many readers will relate to Jemma, who worries about her family’s financial situation. However, Jemma doesn’t let this stop her from befriending Fran. Jemma is a positive character who helps her mother by babysitting and helping around the house. The story shows that a person’s character is more important than their financial status.

When Jemma performs, she makes a mistake in the routine, but she keeps going. Jemma was sure that her mistake would disqualify her, but in the end she has a happy surprise. The judges “were impressed because I didn’t let a small mistake get in the way.” Black and white drawings appear every 3-7 pages. Star Dream will engage readers as it teaches positive life lessons. Even though Star Dreams is part of a series, the books do not need to be read in order. Each book introduces a main character as Flame tries to hide from his uncle.

 Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • Flame’s uncle is looking for him. His uncle wants to kill Flame so he can keep the throne.
  • When sandwiches and other foods begin spilling out of Jemma’s brother’s lunch box, the kids go crazy and start a food fight. When Mr. Butler comes over and yells at the kids, Jemma’s brother threw a cherry cake at him. “The cherry cake hit Mr. Butler in the chest. Squish! The teacher’s face reddened with anger and he gave a roar of rage. An enormous chocolate éclair torpedoed into his open mouth as one boy with particularly good aim looked very proud of himself.” Flame uses magic to make all the food disappear and everyone forgets what happened.
  • A boy picks up Flame and “pretended to throw Flame over a nearby garden wall. Flame gave a terrified wail. His paws clawed at the air. He seemed too scared to do any magic.” When Jemma offers the boy money, he gives Jemma the kitten.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • Jemma’s brother “leaped onto the bed and began playing with Flame.” Jemma yells at him and calls him a big jerk.
  • “Oh, heck” is used twice. When Jemma’s brother drops something, he says, “Oh, heck!”

Supernatural

  • Flame uses magic to change into a kitten and jump into a different world. When he changes, “sparks crackled in Flame’s fur and there was a flash of dazzling white light. A silky cream kitten with brown spots sat where the young white lion had stood just a moment ago.”
  • When Flame enters another world, Jemma sees “silver sparkles shot out of Flame’s fur. His green eyes began to glow like coals and his whiskers trembled with electricity. Jemma felt a tingling sensation.”
  • In order to make Jemma’s baby sister stop crying, Flame “raised a paw and a fountain of silver sparks whooshed into the air. Big, shiny, rainbow-colored bubbles appeared. They floated in the air, tinkling like silvery bells when they bumped gently into each other.”
  • Flame makes lunch for Jemma’s brother. Jemma “saw piles of ham and cheese sandwiches, cookies, and lemonade.” However, Flame’s magic was too strong. When Jemma’s brother opens his lunch box, “shooting out of it was a multicolored volcano of sandwiches, potato chips, cookies, and candy?”
  • Flame uses magic to make himself invisible.
  • When Jemma’s brother makes a mess in the kitchen, Flame cleans it up. “A minute later, the vacuum cleaner burst into action. It zoomed around wildly, making clean trails through the flour. . . The vacuum cleaner whizzed back into the closet. Swish! Cushions, carpets, and curtains flicked back into place. Phloop! Flour and sauce disappeared back into bags and jars.”
  • When Jemma is going to be late for tryouts, Flame transports her. “Opening the door, she poked her head outside. There was a long line of people twisting all down the hallway.”
  • Flame transforms Jemma’s backyard. “The flowers were all planted and the lawn had been mowed. The paving stones were in place.”

Spiritual Content

  • None

A Summer Spell

Lisa didn’t want to spend the summer in the country with her aunt. With no friends and no TV, Lisa thinks she will be lonely and bored. When Lisa finds an orange kitten in her aunt’s barn, she’s surprised when the kitten talks to her! The kitten, named Flame, is really a lion prince in disguise. Prince Flame is hiding from his uncle, who wants to kill him. Lisa promises to help Prince Flame stay safe.

But Prince Flame isn’t Lisa’s only friend. While riding her bike, Lisa meets John, a boy about her age. Someone has accused John’s father of poaching. Late one night, Lisa and John sneak out in the middle of the night to try to find the real poachers and get evidence that proves John’s father is innocent. With Prince Flame’s magical help, Lisa is able to help John.

A Summer Spell has several fun scenes that will make readers wish they had their own magical cat. Prince Flame not only helps Lisa with the dishes, but he also makes her invisible. Even though the story revolves around Prince Flame’s magic, the story has some darker events. Not only are bad men poaching, but the men frame John’s father, who is put in jail. The story hints that John’s father is targeted because he is a gypsy. Not only that, but Lisa sneaks out of the house in the middle of the night to go find the poachers, even though she knows that they have guns. Without Prince Flame’s help, Lisa and John would most likely be dead.

Lisa is a relatable character who wants to help her friends. However, at first she is disrespectful to her aunt. And even after she promises not to go anywhere without permission, she sneaks away several times. Despite this, readers will enjoy the plot’s action and Flame’s magic. Black and white drawings appear every three to seven pages. Even though A Summer Spell has some negative aspects, the story will engage readers and have them reaching for the next book in the series, Classroom Chaos. Cat lovers should also put the Purrmaids Series by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen on their must-read list.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • While riding a bike, Lisa runs into a pony. “Lisa’s bike screeched along the road into the pony. The brakes locked up and she was launched into the air.” With a little magic, “she landed softly onto what felt like a very soft pillow.”
  • When Lisa’s friends is in danger, Prince Flame turns her into a lion so she can rescue them. As a lion, Lisa “rushed up behind the first man and slammed into the back of his legs. In a swift movement, Lisa changed directions and launched herself at another man. . . She tripped up the third man, who fell over in a jumble of arms and legs.”
  • While looking for evidence, Flame turns Lisa into a lion. Lisa, “caught the smell of death. Two deer lay in the back of the van.”

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • Prince Flame’s uncle wants to kill him and take the throne for himself, so Prince Flame needs to hide. “A flash of bright white light crossed the sky. A shower of silver sparkles fell upon a young white lion. Before the lion had a chance to blink, it was magically changed into a tiny, fluffy, orange kitten.”
  • Prince Flame helps Lisa with the dishes. “Flame leaped up into the air like a silver fireball and landed on the draining board. Sparks crackled from the tips of his ears. He waved his front paws, and plates, spoons, forks, knives, and pans all dunked themselves in the suds.” With a little magic, the dishes wash, dry and put themselves away.
  • When Lisa forgets to buy groceries, Flame “meowed and twitched his whiskers. Lisa saw that huge silver sparks were popping in the air around him. The familiar warmth pricked down her spine.” When Lisa goes outside, “the bike’s basket was crammed with food.” Later Flame says he magically got the food from the grocery store. In order to pay for the purchases, Lisa puts money in an envelope with a note explaining what happened.
  • Several times, Prince Flame uses magic to make Lisa invisible.

Spiritual Content

  • None

Bird & Squirrel On The Run

Squirrel is busy preparing for winter. He’s collected and stored enough acorns to last him through spring. Meanwhile, Bird is enjoying riding the air currents. When Bird invites Squirrel to go south with him, Squirrel isn’t interested. But when Cat decides that he’d like nothing better than to eat Bird for lunch, Squirrel jumps to the rescue. Unfortunately, he also loses all of his acorns. With his winter supply of food gone, Squirrel reluctantly decides to head south with Bird. Cat sneakily follows, waiting for a perfect opportunity to make Bird his lunch.

Filled with cat chases, misfortune, and other drama, Bird’s and Squirrel’s adventure is pure fun. The two friends are comically different. Every time something bad happens, Squirrel is convinced that “We’re gonna die!” On the other hand, Bird looks on the bright side of everything. When all of their possessions are lost, Bird holds up a toothbrush and says, “Look on the bright side, we still have your toothbrush.” The interplay between Bird and Squirrel will make readers laugh out loud.

Bird and Squirrel’s adventure is reminiscent of Tom and Jerry. Every time Cat tries to sneak up and eat Bird, Cat ends up being injured in some way. As Bird and Squirrel try to avoid Cat, they run into a funny family of moles, a raging river, a slimy snake, and other misfortunes. Even though Bird & Squirrel on the Run is full of slapstick humor, the graphic novel also teaches the importance of friendship and working together.

The story is illustrated with brightly colored panels. Much like a cartoon, the illustrations use exaggerated facial expressions to add to the humor. Each page contains one to six simple sentences. Bird & Squirrel on the Run will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Bird and Squirrel’s silly antics will keep readers interested as it teaches the importance of enjoying life, even if you’re being chased by a cat. Readers who want more animal mischief should read the Pets on the Loose Series by Victoria Jamieson.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • Cat spends a lot of time chasing Bird. The first time that Cat tries to chomp Bird, Bird crashes into a tree and falls to the ground. To help Bird, Squirrel throws acorns at Cat. When an acorn avalanche begins, it sweeps Squirrel and Cat into a river. The scene is illustrated over eight pages.
  • Bird and Squirrel pack up to head south, when Cat decides to chase them. Bird and Squirrel fall into the river and lose all of their belongings. The scene is described over three pages.
  • When Cat chases Bird and Squirrel, the two friends hide in a hole. Cat tries to follow, but he cannot fit inside the hole. With his butt pointing up out of the hole, Cat is hit by lightning. The scenes is illustrated over three pages.
  • Bird accidentally angers bees, and the bees chase him. Bird leads the bees to Squirrel, who is shown with stingers sticking out of his face and body. The scene is described over three pages.
  • While walking through a dark forest, a snake attacks Bird and Squirrel. The snake wraps its tail around Squirrel, and Bird flies to the rescue. The scene is illustrated over five pages.
  • A hawk scares Bird, who is carrying Squirrel. Bird drops Squirrel, but is able to grab him before he smashes into the ground. The hawk gives chase, but Bird is able to get Squirrel to safety.
  • When it looks like Bird is in trouble, Squirrel jumps on the hawk’s back. The hawk stops chasing Bird, and drops Squirrel, who falls to the ground. The scene is illustrated over six pages.
  • Cat again tries to eat Bird. When Cat holds Bird to the ground, Squirrel throws a rock and hits Cat between the eyes. Squirrel taunts Cat, “I bet you’re too slow and too stupid to catch me!” Cat chases Squirrel and the hawk grabs Cat and carries him away. The scene is illustrated over six pages.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Seasick Sea Horse

Shelly always has to share everything. At home, she shares with her sister. At school, she shares with her best friends, but sometimes she just does not want to share. When Ms. Harbor shows the class the new class pet, a sea horse, the students are excited to take care of it. When Shelly is chosen to take the sea horse home, she is excited that the pet will be her responsibility. But Shelly’s two friends also want to help take care of the sea horse. Shelly tells her friends that they can’t help, but taking care of a sea horse is harder than Shelly thought it would be. Will Shelly’s friends be angry with her? Can she take care of the class pet without any help?

A fun and entertaining story, Seasick Sea Horse focuses on the importance of taking care of the ocean and the creatures that make the ocean their home. Ms. Harbor tells the class, “It is important for purrmaids to learn how to treat the creatures we encounter in our ocean.” Throughout the story, the reader will learn several interesting facts about sea creatures as well as the importance of picking up trash so it does not end up hurting sea life. When the purrmaids need more information about sea horses, they go to the library and check out books so they can research sea horses.

Seasick Sea Horse also reinforces the idea that something does not always need to be done the same way. For example, when Shelly’s friend cuts salad ingredients differently than Shelly, the salad still tastes good. Shelly needs to learn that “you can be in charge and let other purrmaids help you.” The story highlights that purrmaids often need help in order to get everything done.

Seasick Sea Horse is perfect for readers who are able to read chapter books. The story has easy vocabulary, short sentences, and cute black-and-white illustrations approximately every three pages. Younger readers will enjoy the cat puns and sea similes that are incorporated into the story, like “fin-tastic,” “cat-tastrophe,” and “big as an orca.” Even though Seasick Sea Horse is part of a series, the stories do not have to be read in order. The Purrmaid series takes readers on an underwater swim that teaches valuable lessons as well as entertains.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • None

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

The Scaredy Cat

Coral, Shelly, and Angel are best friends. They are excited about meeting their new teacher on the first day of school. Their teacher asks the kids to bring something special to share with the class. The three friends decide that they need to search Tortoise-shell Reef to find something special enough to share. Coral is anxious about going to the reef because it is on the edge of the cove. However, she agrees to go because it’s important to her friends.

When the purrmaids get to the reef, Coral’s friends discover that she doesn’t know how to complete flips. Angel and Shelly are eager to teach Coral a new skill, but soon they have flipped so many times that they don’t know where they are! Can the three friends find their way home? Can Coral learn to be brave?

The Scaredy Cat mixes kittens and mermaids in a story about friendship that will have younger readers enthralled. The unique idea and the adorably cute black-and-white illustrations will draw readers to the book. The story focuses on the purrmaids’ homework assignment as well as Coral’s cautious attitude. When the group goes to Tortoise-shell Reef, Coral shows bravery several times; each time her friends are in danger, Coral jumps in to protect them. The story highlights the importance of trying new things, but also of being cautious.

As part of the adventure, Coral meets a misunderstood catshark named Chomp. The shark gives the story an added dose of danger. After she gets to know him, she learns that he isn’t dangerous. Chomp complains that “Catsharks always get a bad rap. Everyone in the ocean thinks we’re out to eat them!” Coral is able to learn that it is wrong to judge a shark just because he’s a shark.

The Scaredy Cat is perfect for readers who are able to read chapter books. The story has easy vocabulary, short sentences, and cute black-and-white illustrations approximately every three pages. Younger readers will enjoy the cat puns that appear often, like “cat-tastrophe,” “paw-sitive,” and “purr-omise.” The puns are a little bit over the top, and although younger readers may enjoy them, parents might want to avoid reading The Scaredy Cat aloud.

Readers who like the Pet Fairies series will also find the Purrmaid series purr-fect. While the Pet Fairies series has a non-scary villain, the Purrmaid series focuses more on friendship and the quest for the perfect item to share with the class. The Scaredy Cat will delight younger readers, who will want to read every book in the series because the stories are so much fun. The satisfying conclusion will have readers squealing in joy as the story shows that friendship is the best gift of all.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • None

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

The Darkest Hour

After the battle with the dogs, the dust settles. There is only one casualty—Bluestar, the leader of ThunderClan. Since Fireheart was the deputy, he must now receive his nine lives and new name from StarClan. Everything seems to be flowing smoothly at the beginning of Firestar’s rule. Prey is good; there have been no fights with other Clans, and Tigerstar has been quiet so far, even though he was the reason the dogs attacked. Firestar works with his apprentice and helps the Clan recover, but he is haunted by a new prophecy.

Soon Tigerstar announces that RiverClan and ShadowClan are merging and that they will be forming TigerClan. When TigerClan attacks WindClan, it becomes clear what will happen if ThunderClan and WindClan don’t accept the new order. Is there any way the clans can work together to bring peace to their home?

As Tigerheart tries to unite the other clans, he shows his cruelty. Unlike previous books, The Darkest Hour doesn’t focus on floods, fires, or storms. Instead, the clans fight each other and the intense battle scenes are often described in detail, which will cause an emotional reaction because of the graphic descriptions.  The book transitions smoothly from the clan’s life to the battles; the battle scenes and the epic climax will leave the readers’ hearts pounding.

The final chapter in the Warrior series, The Darkest Hour, will not disappoint! As the six-story arch ends, readers will feel an emotional connection with the clans’ cats and will be surprised by unexpected and shocking events. Young readers love the Warrior series because of the well-developed characters, the descriptions, and the nonstop action. The Warrior series has turned many youngsters into avid readers because the series takes the reader into the lives of wild cats, who soon feel like friends. Warriors fans will forever remember Fireheart, who will leave his paw marks on their hearts.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • Tigerstar commanded Stonefur to kill two cats, and when Stonefur refuses, Darkstripe attacks him. “The two warriors were a clawing, screeching knot of fur on the floor of the clearing. The rest of the cats scrambled backward to give them space, still keeping the same eerie silence. . .” They fight for two and a half pages. Stonefur eventually dies in the battle.
  • Firestar was in his camp when he heard wailing. Firestar watched as “limping out of the tunnel was a cat that was almost wounded beyond recognition. Blood dripped from a long gash in his flank. His fur was matted with sand and dust, and one eye was closed . . . The newcomer was Mudclaw, barely able to stand from pain and exhaustion.” Mudclaw announced that TigerClan was attacking their camp. When a patrol goes to their camp, Onewhisker “was lying on his side with deep wounds to his throat and shoulder. Barkface, the WindClan medicine cat, was pressing cobwebs to them, but the blood still oozed out sluggishly.” Onewhisker told them that Gorsepaw had been killed. Onewhisker said that Tigerstar “pinned him down in the center of the clearing, with his warriors around him so none of us could get close enough to stop him. He . . . he said he was going to kill him to show the rest of us what we could expect if we refused to join him.”
  • Tigerstar attacked Scourge. As they were fighting, Tigerstar “fell on his side, exposing his belly, and Scourge’s vicious claws sank into his throat. Blood welled out as the smaller cat ripped him down to the tail with a single slash. A desperate scream of fury erupted from Tigerstar, then broke off with a ghastly choking sound. His body convulsed, limbs jerking and tail flailing . . . The dark red blood kept on flowing, spreading across the ground in a ceaseless tide. Tigerstar let out another shriek.” This fight lasted one page.
  • During a major battle with BloodClan, Scourge attacked Firestar. As Scourge attacked Firestar, “Agony exploded in his (Firestar’s) head as the reinforced claws struck down. Flame washed over his eyes, fading to leave nothing but darkness. A soft, black tide was rising to engulf him; he made one final effort to get up, but his paws would not support him, and he fell back into nothingness.” Firestar died, but because he had nine lives from StarClan, he was brought back to life.  After he was brought back he killed Scourge, and the battle was over. The battle is sixteen pages long, and many lives were lost.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • Firestar’s friend called him a “Stupid furball.”
  • Firestar called a cat a “mouse-brain” because they jumped into a battle and almost fought the wrong side. The phrase mouse-brain is used six times.
  • Blackfoot called some cats “half-Clan crowfood.”
  • Darkstripe called someone “fox-dung.”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • Cats that die go to StarClan and can come back in dreams.
  • Cats go to the moonstone, “a gleaming rock, which glittered as if it were made from countless dewdrops,” to share dreams with StarClan and gain answers.
  • StarClan shared a prophecy that said, “only fire can save the Clan.”
  • A clan leader can be granted nine lives from StarClan, which means they can die eight times and return to life.
  • Cats are granted their warrior name, “by the powers of StarClan.”
  • Fireheart said that it was the will of StarClan that Bluestar died, and that she made peace with StarClan before she died.
  • Firestar received a prophecy from StarClan saying, “Four will become two. Lion and tiger will meet in battle, and blood will rule the forest.”
  • Ravenpaw said that StarClan made a good choice making Firestar leader.
  • Firestar tried to reach out to Spottedleaf, the dead medicine cat, in a dream. Firestar wanted help making a decision, but Spottedleaf wouldn’t help him, and she told him that it was his decision.
  •  Firestar said that “Tigerstar behaves as if he’s never heard of StarClan.”
  • Sandstorm said, “It’s in the paws of StarClan.”
  • Tallstar swore on StarClan.
  • Bramblepaw started arguing with his father and he said, “then at least I’ll go to StarClan as a loyal ThunderClan cat.”
  • Right before all the cats went into battle, they said, “And may StarClan be with us all.”
  • Cats think the stars represent each member of StarClan, so when one cat saw some stars at dawn, he thought, “a few early warriors of StarClan looked down at him.”
  • After Firestar was killed, he lost one life, met with StarClan, and then he came back to life.
  • A cat said, “Thank StarClan.”
  • Firestar asked his medicine cat if they had received any messages from StarClan.
  • Firestar said that they are in the forest, “by the will of StarClan.”
  • As Whitestorm died, he said, “I go to hunt with StarClan.”
  • After they won the battle, Firestar said, “Thank you, StarClan.” He then received a vision from Spottedleaf.

A Dangerous Path

Times are rough in the forest, and all the Clans are wary of each other. With ShadowClan’s new and dangerous leader, Tigerstar, everyone in ThunderClan is on edge. None of the other Clans see anything wrong with Tigerstar’s leadership, but Fireheart knows better. Fireheart is convinced that the new leader will bring danger, and he has a feeling that something terrible is brewing. Dreams of danger haunt Fireheart, who worries that there is a connection between his foreboding dreams and Tigerstar’s rise to power.

There is also a strange evil loose in the forest, lurking in the shadows. When the leader of ThunderClan turns her back on StarClan, Fireheart is not sure what to believe. Should he trust in StarClan and his dreams to lead the Clan to safety? Has StarClan abandoned them?

The fifth installment of the Warrior Series has a slow pace that continues for the first half of the book.  Like the previous books, the cats hunt, go to meetings, and train apprentices. Although many aspects of the books are repetitious, the number of characters and the complexity of the plot may confuse some readers. The story continues to hint about a terrible danger, but the mystery behind the danger takes too long to solve. Still, once revealed, it creates a tense climax for the novel.

The story focuses on Bluestar, who has suffered a devastating loss and has become irrational as a result. Bluestar’s negativity gives the book a darker tone. Although the story is still a good adventure that allows readers to see into the cats’ world, A Dangerous Path has a more mature tone and adds themes of danger, death, and violence. The story covers some difficult topics such as Cloudkit’s skepticism regarding StarClan, and a cat willing to scheme to kill others. For those who have fallen in love with the Warrior series, A Dangerous Path sets up an epic battle that will take place in The Darkest Hour.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • Leopardstar and Bluestar fight over territory. Other cats join the fight. Leopardstar yowled and launched herself at Bluestar. “The two cats crashed to the ground, spitting and clawing. Fireheart sprang forward to help his leader, but before he reached her a warrior crashed into his side, bowling him over and sinking his teeth into Fireheart’s shoulder. Fireheart scrabbled against the RiverClan cat’s belly with his hindpaws, desperate to break his grip, and slashing at his enemy’s throat. The tabby warrior let go and backed off yowling.” Many cats are injured, but no one is killed. The fight takes place over six pages.
  • A group of cats was looking for two apprentices. When they find them, “Foul-tasting bile rose into his throat as he took in the scene in front of him. . . In the middle of the clearing Swiftpaw’s black-and-white body lay motionless, and just beyond him, Brightpaw. . . The apprentice lay on his side, his legs splayed out. His black-and-white fur was torn, and his body was covered with dreadful wounds, ripped by teeth far bigger that any cat’s. His jaws still snarled and his eyes glared. He was dead, and Fireheart could see that he had died fighting.”
  • Fireheart finds a dead cat, but it is not described.
  • Graypool’s “paws slid from under her. She rolled down the steep slope in a scramble of legs and tail, and landed hard against one of the rocks the pulled out of the turf. There she lay, and did not move again.”
  • While Snowkit was playing, there was a hawk. “The hawk plunged down toward the clearing. Snowkit screamed as the cruel talons fastened onto his back. The great wings flapped. . . As the hawk lifted off, she sprang upward and snagged her claws in the white kit’s fur. . . The hawk released the kit with one foot and scored its talons across Speckletail’s face. The she-cat lost her grip and fell back, landing heavily on the ground.”
  • Tigerstar attacks Fireheart, in the hopes that the dogs will catch up and kill him. “Fireheart struggled desperately to get free, lashing out with his hind paws to claw a tuft of fur from his enemy’s belly. . . The reek of his scent was in Fireheart’s mouth and nostrils, and his amber eyes glared into Fireheart’s own.” After Tigerstar let go of Fireheart, the dogs came. “Pain stabbed him as sharp teeth met his scruff. His limbs flailed helplessly as the dog lifted him from the ground and shook him from side to side. He twisted in the air, struggling to claw eyes, jowls, tongue, but his thrashing paws met nothing.” Bluestar knocks the dog off balance, saving Fireheart and sending the dogs and her into the gorge. Fireheart jumps in and tries to save her, but it is too late. He gets her to shore with the help of two RiverClan warriors, but Bluestar dies on shore.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • When angry, the cats occasionally call each other terms such as mouse dung, crowfood, furball, and mouse brain. For example, Bluestar got angry and said, “What a mouse-brained fool.”
  • Someone asked Fireheart, “Are you just going to stand there and let that piece of fox dung take over?”
  • Tigerstar asked a cat about some kits, and when she did not respond right away he snapped and said, “Tell me whose kits they were, old crowfood.”
  • When they started talking about StarClan, a cat said, “You don’t really believe that load of thistledown, do you?”
  • When he was falsely accused, Tigerstar said, “All this is a pile of mouse dung.”
  • When preparing to go into battle, a cat says, “They’ll make crowfood out of us!” This phrase is used twice.
  • Someone made a bad choice and a cat said, “What a mouse-brained idea!” This phrase is used three times.
  • Several time a cat is called a furball. For example, when the Clan was mad at someone, another cat said, “Then half of the Clan are stupid furballs.”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • StarClan is the heavenly tribe of dead warrior cats that watches over all the cat clans. Cats that die go to StarClan and can come back in dreams to share visions or prophecy. StarClan can help shape fate because they can see the future.
  • One of the cats “is afraid she’ll go to StarClan soon.”
  • A cat died so it is said that, “she hunts with StarClan now.”
  • Cinderpelt received a dream from StarClan and tells Fireheart about it. She said she heard a huge animal walking saying, “Pack, Pack and Kill, Kill.”
  • Spottedleaf and Yellowfang are medicine cats that walk with StarClan. They visited Fireheart’s dreams to give him advice.
  • If a leader or medicine cat needs to speak with StarClan, they go to highstones. When they are there, they touch the moonstone at night and can share dreams with StarClan.
  • When the cats were fighting, a cat yelled, “Defend yourself or I swear by StarClan I’ll kill you.”
  • When a cat is made into a warrior, the leader says, “By the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name.”
  • A cat believed she had made StarClan angry so she said, “I have brought down the wrath of StarClan on you.”

by Paige Michelle

Rising Storm

Fireheart’s enemy, Tigerclaw, has been exiled from ThunderClan. Even with him gone, the clan is still shaken. Because Fireheart is now the deputy, he has to hold the entire Clan together. No matter how he tries to forget Tigerclaw, he cannot shake the feeling that he is still out there, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. With his apprentice acting up and breaking the code, a major sickness in ShadowClan, and Bluestar on the edge, Fireheart struggles to keep the Clan together.

Along with attacks from different Clans and rouges, ThunderClan is at risk. Bluestar is getting weaker, and with the recent betrayal of Tigerclaw, everyone is worried about her. She is a shell of her former self and is haunted by sinister omens. Everyone knows that a storm is coming. Will Fireheart be able to unite his clan?

Rising Storm picks up immediately after the last book, which is a time of great fear for ThunderClan. The tone of this book is darker, full of suspense and dread of the unknown. Readers will enjoy seeing Fireheart grow into a capable leader and will be anxious to see if Bluestar can regain her confidence, or if she will continue to spiral. One of the best aspects of this book is the constant action, as it’s full of battles, cliffhangers, and plot twists. The ending will leave readers shocked, so make sure you have the next book ready! The drama will continue in The Dangerous Path.

 Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • The WindClan cats fight Fireheart and his friends. “Deadfoot leapt from the badger set onto his back, he rolled with him, falling to the ground and throwing the WindClan deputy off . . . He pushed back down with his hindlegs and flung himself at Deadfoot. The WindClan tom gasped as Fireheart knocked the breath from him.”
  • Fireheart is attacked by dogs. “With a vicious snarl, the dog lunged at him. Fireheart whipped around and lashed out with his forepaws, his claws sharp as blackthorns. He felt the flesh rip on the dog’s swaying jowls and heard it yelp in pain.”
  • Fireheart attacks Whitethroat because he thinks that Whitethroat killed his friend. “He let out a furious screech and flung himself at Whitethroat, who shrank away, hissing. Fireheart knocked the ShadowClan warrior back, and Whitethroat landed limply on the ground.”
  • Fireheart and Tigerclaw got into a fight. “Tigerclaw’s eyes widened with surprise as Fireheart crashed into him, claws unsheathed and hissing with rage . . . Fireheart felt himself being flung from Tigerclaw’s back, felt the impact of the parched ground as he landed on his side. He gasped for the air that had been knocked from his lungs and struggled to his paws. He wasn’t fast enough. Tigerclaw pounced on him, pinning him to the ground with claws that seemed to pierce Fireheart to the bone . . . In desperation Fireheart pushed us with his hind legs, his claws raking for a hold on Tigerclaw’s belly . . . The gray warrior lunged at Tigerclaw’s exposed belly, knocking him backward. Fireheart whipped around and bit the shoulder of the cat that clung to his hindleg until he felt his teeth scrape against bone. He released the rogue when he squealed, and spat out the blood that had dripped into his mouth.” The fight goes on for three pages.
  • After the fire, Fireheart and Graystripe look for the cats that were left behind. They find a dead cat and see, “where Halftail’s scorched body lay at what used to be the entrance to Yellowfang’s fern tunnel.”
  • When Fireheart found Yellowfang, “She lay with her legs crumpled beneath her, soot-covered and wheezing, too weak to move. She could barely hold his gaze, and when she spoke her voice was breathless and feeble.”

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • When angry, the cats occasionally call each other terms such as mouse dung, crowfood, furball, and mouse brain. For example, Bluestar got angry and said, “What a mouse-brained fool.”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • StarClan is the heavenly tribe of dead warrior cats that watches over all the cat clans. Cats that die go to StarClan and can come back in dreams to share visions or prophecy.
  • When a cat dies, they go to StarClan. StarClan guides and helps the cats through dreams and prophecies. StarClan can help shape fate because they can see the future.
  • Bluestar said that StarClan had summoned her and that she had to go to answer the call. Bluestar went to the Moonstone in order to speak with StarClan, their warrior ancestors.
  • When the cats were discussing something, someone said, “Only StarClan knows.”
  • When they were joking around, Cinderpelt said, “May StarClan banish all the fleas from your nest.”
  • When something big happened, a cat said, “Perhaps it was what StarClan intended.”
  • When Fireheart dreamed, Spottedleaf, the dead medicine cat, came and said, “Beware an enemy that seems to sleep.”
  • When they were arguing Cinderpelt said, “What in StarClan is worrying you?”
  • A cat said, “Perhaps StarClan has a different destiny for him.”
  • Spottedleaf came to Fireheart’s dream and warned him about the fire.
  • Smallear got mad and said, “I told you StarClan would show its anger!”
  • When raining started falling after a fire, Fireheart interpreted it as, “StarClan was weeping for all that had been lost.”
  • As Yellowfang was dying, she said, “StarClan may judge me how they will.”
  • Because Patchpelt and Halftail died, Fireheart said they, “are with StarClan now.”
  • When Fireheart told Runningnose that Yellowfang died, he said, “She died trying to save a Clanmate from the fire. StarClan will honor her bravery.”

by Paige Michelle

The Prodigal Cat

Mittens thinks highly of herself. She is smart and beautiful. Mittens is so proud of her beauty that she thinks her family should pamper her with the best of everything. One day Mittens gets upset at her family and hides from them. She thinks she can manage everything on her own.

Once Mittens is on her own, she realizes how much her family had done for her. Lost, alone, and scared, can Mittens learn to depend on others? Can Mittens learn the importance of being humble and letting others help?

Mittens’ story begins when she is a kitten. She goes from living with a family to living in the pound. Watching Mittens grow from a kitten hoping for a family to a proud cat gives the story depth. Younger children will enjoy the interplay between Mittens and the family dog. Mittens’ bad behavior begins when she tries to get the dog in trouble so that he will be sent to the backyard. As she grows older, she becomes completely focused on her appearance.

Adorable colored illustrations will engage readers and help bring Mittens’s personality alive. The Prodigal Cat is a cute story that teaches the importance of appreciating others and being humble. The message never feels preachy, but instead focuses on how pride causes Mittens to struggle. The ending brings Mittens back together with her family, but it also has a satisfying surprise.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • A dog jumps at Mittens, and “she gave a swipe with her paw and tore through the house.” Later, Mittens tries to hide from the dog, but when she can’t she “took a swipe at his nose. . .”
  • When Mittens tries to cross the road, “she looked up just in time to see a car heading straight for her, and everything went black!”

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Callie

Mia and Michal Battelli want a pet. Michael thinks a dog would be perfect. Mia wants a cuddly cat. But their parents aren’t sure their small apartment is a good fit for a pet. When Mia discovers a tiny calico who is injured, she convinces her mom to take care of the kitten named Callie. Mia wants to keep the kitten for herself, but the cute calico keeps running away. Is Mia’s home the right home for Callie?

Kitty Corner Callie is an easy-to-read high-interest book for beginning readers. The story has an easy-to-follow plot, a loving family, and is sprinkled with cat facts. As Mia’s family takes care of Callie, Mia discovers that no matter how cuddly Callie is, or how much Mia wants to keep her, the Battelli’s house just isn’t the right fit. In the end, Mia finds the home that is right for Callie, even though that means saying goodbye. Kitty Corner Callie will engage younger readers and leave them with a positive message about doing what is best for a pet.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • None

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Pioneer Cat

Nine-year-old Kate doesn’t want to go on a wagon train. She’s upset about leaving her best friend. She’s worried about how long the trip will be. And she’s afraid someone will discover her cat Snuggs, who is hiding in the wagon. Kate knows pets aren’t allowed on the wagon train, but she can’t bear the thought of leaving Snuggs behind.

This first-person narrative has just the right amount of action and suspense for younger readers. The dangers of the Oregon Trail are described in a kid-friendly manner that adds suspense without including scary details. Short chapters, black-and-white illustrations, and dialogue help make Pioneer Cat an entertaining and easy-to-read story. The fast-paced storyline teaches about the hardships of moving to the west.

Pioneer Cat has many positive elements. Rosie, Kate’s friend on the trail, exhibits the true qualities of a good friend and speaks in fun idioms such as, “looks like a choice bowl of beans to me.” Kate’s parents are shown in a positive light and clearly care about their children. At one point in the story, Kate could have easily allowed her parents to believe a falsehood, but she tells them the truth instead. Many will pick up Pioneer Cat because of the cute cat on the cover, but they will continue reading because of Kate’s adventures and the other loveable characters in the story.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • A buffalo herd stampedes and heads toward the wagon train. The men shoot at the herd to get the buffalo to change directions. “When the men fire, several buffalo in the front of the pack crumpled to the ground. More piled up behind them. But one huge wounded beast kept coming. He plowed into a wagon near ours. There was a sickening thud. The wagon rolled over.” Most of the buffalo change directions and no one is injured.
  • Indians follow the wagon train and eventually want to trade with them. After the captain and the chief talk, one man shoots at the Indians. “Crack! A single gunshot rang out from one of our wagons. The pony one of the young Indians was riding stumbled and crashed to the ground. The rider went down with him.” The Indian is wounded, and the two groups work out their differences.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • When the scouts go to help the injured Indian, someone yells, “For God’s sake, don’t shoot!”
  • When the captain sees kittens in one of the wagons, he exclaims, “My god, what’s this?”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • Pa says grace at mealtimes. At one meal, Pa prays, “Dear Lord, give us a good journey and safekeeping. And bring us finally to Oregon if it be thy will.”
  • Kate’s parents can’t find her. When she appears, Pa says, “Thank the Lord.”
  • When two children are almost swept away in the river, someone says, “Thank God, you’re all right!”

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