3 out of 4 stars
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Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R.F. Kristi is the 7th installment of the Inca Cat Detective children’s book series.
Inca, cunning cat detective and founder of “Inca & Company Detective Agency,” has returned for another exciting, crime-solving adventure. Inca and her team of pet detectives travel to Sri Lanka for what should be a week of relaxation. After an afternoon of soaking up the sun’s rays, Inca learns that a national treasure was stolen from a nearby museum. Inca is intrigued by the mysterious nature of this theft. She soon realizes the team’s week of relaxation is going to be action-packed. They now have a case to solve! How will the team solve a case in a foreign land? What serendipitous encounters are in store for Inca and the pet detectives?
This is an enjoyable book and the storyline will captivate children. The illustrations are colorful and delightful. I really enjoyed the characters in the story. Each of the characters has their own personality. These personalities are captured in the illustrations. The varied character traits and personalities assist the pet detectives in solving their cases. It was a joy to see the cast of characters working together as a team towards a common goal.
There are some surprising plot twists that occur and an element of suspense that keeps the reader guessing what will happen next. In addition, the author does an excellent job of engaging the reader through descriptive writing. The writing is detailed enough to allow the reader to picture the events in their imagination, without being overwhelmed by detail.
What I enjoyed most was the educational opportunities woven throughout the storyline. For example, the author has included information pertaining to the culture of Sri Lanka into the storyline. Furthermore, the author’s intent with the Inca Cat Detective series is to instill in children respect and appreciation for animals. This is evident throughout the book. For example, the author shares animal facts when new animals are introduced in the storyline. Finding a book that holds educational content in addition to age-appropriate content can be difficult. Parents and caregivers can rest assured that Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat meets both of these criteria.
According to the author, this book is intended for children 7 to 12 years of age. In my opinion, the age range for this book is dependent upon reading ability. Beginning readers may struggle with some of the words and may need assistance in reading this book. I think this book is perfect for the intermediate reader who reads smoothly most of the time and is able to use pictures or context clues when needed. That said, this would be a wonderful book for a read-aloud with younger children, who may find some of the vocabulary a challenge. Advanced readers or children at the higher-end of this age range may find this book too childish for their liking. I would highly recommend this book to children who enjoy mysteries, especially if they have an interest in animals.
The only criticism I have is that this book is not professionally edited. I noted several errors pertaining to punctuation as well as one spelling error. These errors were minor in nature, and for the most part, were not a distraction while reading. Unfortunately, given the length of the book in relation to the number of errors noted, these errors negatively impacted my overall rating of the book.
Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat is an exciting, mysterious, child-friendly book. Parents and caregivers who may find themselves reading this book aloud to children or aiding their children as they read will also find this book enjoyable. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I would gladly award the fourth star in the event that the punctuation and spelling errors were corrected. This book truly deserves 4 stars.
Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat
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