Review by Readerjorge -- Cat Detectives in the Korean Pe...

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Review by Readerjorge -- Cat Detectives in the Korean Pe...

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[Following is a volunteer review of "Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula" by R.F. Kristi.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula by R.F. Kristi is the book number eight in the children's series The Inca Cat Detective, Inca is a detective cat who heads a detective agency. In this installment, she has to travel with Missy, her owner, and the gang members to the Korean Peninsula. The gang is composed of Terrance (Solo´s dog), Inca, her siamese sister Cara, her brother Fromage, and Charlotte, the hamster. Missy is a renowned chef and is invited to the Korean Peninsula to present her new cheese and at the same time be a judge in a chef contest at the famous French cookery school, Le Cordon Bleu. Missy travels with her friend Solo and the gang.

The story unfolds in a week from April 10 to April 17 with Missy having to protect her cheese while traveling on the plane there she meets Enzo another chef who is also heading to the contest to be a judge. Enzo appears to be jealous of Missy´s success, and the gang must watch him closely as they don't trust him. When the gang and humans arrive on the Korean Peninsula, they are received by Ye-Jun, a tour guide, who has a family conflict because he hasn't seen his sister Ji for a long time due to she is on the north side. By chance, Ji is also a cook and she is going to participate in the chef contest. Of course, there is also an animal conflict as Ye-Jun has a pet dog named Baram and Ji has a pet cat named Bo-Mi. The two pets were very close friends before separating.

Is Enzo really a bad guy and will try something against Missy? Will Missy's cheese be a failure or a success? Will Ye-Jun and Ji be able to see each other again after so long? And what about Baram and Bo-Mi?

The story is told from Inca's perspective, although this time she does not seem to be the main character. The tale is narrated nicely with a simple vocabulary, which is proper for the young target audience. The font used in the print version is beautiful but some characters are strange and difficult to make out. I think it might be difficult for kids to recognize some, for example, the & character.

What I liked the most was that this short children's book had many plots. The author skillfully inserted multiple storylines, which added the suspense necessary to keep readers attentive. For instance, the care of the cheese during the plane trip, the cooking contest, the danger of moving from south to north, the possibility of the reunion of the two brothers separated by years, among others.

The book leaves a wonderful reflection about divided families and friends within the Korean peninsula and how some peace-building efforts could bring happiness and harmony to those who are separated.

Despite the fact that this story is part of a series, it can be read standalone, I already read Serendipity Mystery, coincidentally the previous installment of this series and I also found it excellent. Cat Detectives on the Korean peninsula has everything a good children's book needs: entertaining narrative, nice pictures, suspense, useful teachings, and a right denouement. The editing was professional, I only found a couple of remarks to signal. For all of the above, I am pleased to give it 4 out of 4 stars and I recommend it to children who already know how to read, parents of young kids and kindergarten teachers.

Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula

Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula
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