3 out of 4 stars
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Inca is a Siberian cat who's ambitious of becoming the world's smartest cat detective. Her chance to realise her dream comes when her doggie friend, Polo, introduces her and their other pals to Boss. Boss is a tough Rottweiler from down the street. He's worried that his favourite human, Ned, is about to lose his childhood home which he shared with Mr. Finchley, his unofficial uncle. When Mr. Finchley became ill, Cyril, his biological nephew, moved in with them. Shortly after, the old man died, and his will, which stated that the house would belong to Ned, went missing. Now, Cyril (later christened "The Stinky Porkster") is claiming the house for his own and telling Ned to move out! Having heard of their success solving a previous mystery, Boss reaches out to Inca and her buddies for help. With no hesitation, the gang leaps into action to find the missing will and stop Cyril from taking over Ned and Boss's home. Fifth in the Inca Book Series, Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R.F. Kristi is Inca's account of their exciting venture.
What I like most about this book is the characterisation. This furry squad is just brimming with personality. My favourite is Boss. His character experiences a positive change. I quite like Jorje Valle's illustrations, too; they help to bring the characters to life. I will admit to being concerned about the number of characters in this children's book, though. At times it's difficult to keep track of who's who and who's whose.
Continuing with the positives, themes such as family, friendship, teamwork, and problem solving are well depicted within the story. I also think that Inca's frank admission of wanting to be the best - and her sureness of achieving that goal - can be used to encourage children to believe in themselves.
If I have anything negative to say, it's that I'm a little bothered by the animals' unkind thoughts towards those they don't like. For example, on page 109: '"The Stinky Porkster would never bend down to check under it. Too much exercise for his fat body," I said with a sneer.' I'm not a fan of name-calling, so I don't like this tendency in the otherwise adorable creatures.
Finally, with its simple language, funny illustrations, and cute animals, children will find Diary of a Snoopy Cat delightful and entertaining. Unfortunately, there are lots of punctuation errors throughout this piece. While they don't take away from the story, the sheer number of them makes me question whether or not the book was professionally edited. For that, I subtract a point. My rating, therefore, is 3 out of 4 stars.
Diary of a Snoopy Cat
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