3 out of 4 stars
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Having enjoyed already two other books in the Inca Cat Detective series by R.F. Kristi, I was eager to read also number eight, Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula.
We meet again with Inca, the Siberian Detective Cat, her family, and her friends. They travel together to South Korea for a culinary competition where Missy, aka Mom, will be a judge. Missy will also present 'La Crème de la Crème', her very own cheese. Or is it Fromage's very own cheese? In South Korea, they befriend their guide and his dog. They learn about the guide's sister and her cat living in North Korea, and how they miss each other. Inca and the others are determined to help reunite their guide and his sister.
The book stands out with its drawings. They are colorful, with just enough details to pique the interest of children without overwhelming them. I only found the illustration on page 38 to be misplaced: it depicts two female chefs, but the actual cooking competition starts as of page 65 only. I also enjoy the characteristics given to the animals: they talk and behave like mini-humans.
The author includes a lot of background information in her book. The reader learns about the animals native to South Korea, the conflict between the North and the South, the Freedom Bridge, and its history. Where this is relevant information, I find the Korean conflict to be a bit too heavy for a children's book. I would not explain the background to my small children, and I don't think children who are old enough to begin to understand such a conflict would enjoy this book. Therefore, I don't give the full points but rate this book three out of four stars.
The book has just a few typos. I would recommend this book to parents and children who enjoy animal stories and want to learn about new countries and cultures.
Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula
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