Official Review: Vampires at Easter, Diary of a Snoopy Cat

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Official Review: Vampires at Easter, Diary of a Snoopy Cat

Post by bookowlie » 01 May 2018, 10:18

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Vampires at Easter, Diary of a Snoopy Cat" by R.F. Kristi.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Vampires at Easter is a children’s book written by R.F. Kristi and illustrated by Jorge Valle. It is Book 6 in the Diary of a Snoopy Cat series and can be easily read as a standalone story. Inca is a Siberian kitty who runs a detective agency consisting of several cats, two dogs, and one very smart hamster (yes, this is a work of fiction). She and her feline siblings live with their human mom Missy in London.

When Missy is hired to do an Easter catering job in Bran Castle in Transylvania, the kitties and their hamster buddy travel there with her and Aunt Florence. They befriend Katzki, a Calico cat, while searching for some missing cheese. Katzi is in a race against time to save his human friend Dracco from turning into a full-fledged vampire. Can Inca and her crew help rescue young Dracco from this dreaded transformation before it’s too late? Twists and turns abound as the detectives try to help their new friends.

I enjoyed reading this entertaining story which has just the right dose of creepiness without being super scary. The book is written in first person in a diary format, although it reads more like a straight narrative than a diary. Inca is a likable main character who is protective of her siblings and a steady leader. There is a large cast of characters to keep track of, although Charlotte the hamster shines with her sharp-witted mind.

The main plot doesn’t emerge until almost the end of the first half of the story. Since this is a children’s book, I think it would have been better to have a tighter plot right from the start. Otherwise, a child’s mind can start to wander, especially in a 176-page book. On a lighter note, the scattered, whimsical illustrations add pizazz without making the story feel like a picture book. The depiction of the young “vampire-to-be” is particularly cute.

The biggest gripe I had with this story is the high number of grammatical and spelling errors. There are missing commas and end quotation marks in dialogue, missing periods, and missing words, among other errors. The author would certainly benefit from the services of a good editor.

I would recommend this book to children who enjoy creepy stories and animal characters who display human traits. It is difficult to judge the age range best suited for this story. While the subject matter and characters would appeal to children ages 6-9, the long length of the book might prove challenging for their attention span (even as a read-aloud). As for older children ages 10-12, I think they would find it a bit juvenile for their tastes.

I give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. Although it is an interesting, creative read, the errors and plot issues prevent me from awarding the highest rating. The themes of friendship, helping others, and working together to solve a problem are a nice way to reinforce good values in children. Kids are sure to love Inca and her lively cohorts in this fun book.

******
Vampires at Easter, Diary of a Snoopy Cat
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Post by gali » 08 May 2018, 06:46

A kid's book revolving around animals' detective agency sounds cute. Inca sounds like a great character! A story that isn't too creepy makes it a good read for kids. Too bad about the grammatical and spelling errors and the slow beginning. At least the illustrations enhance the story. Great review as always!
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Post by bookowlie » 08 May 2018, 09:32

Thanks Gali! It's a little frustrating to see the 6th book in a series have numerous errors. You would think the author would use an editor by this point.
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Post by MsTri » 08 May 2018, 09:54

I've read several of the 'Snoopy Cat' books and even reviewed one, so I know I'll love this one, as well. I also love all things vampire, so that makes me even more interested! It's a shame about the numerous errors, too; I honestly don't recall the editing being that bad in the books I read, *shrug*... In any event, thanks for the introduction; now I have another book to read for fun!

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Post by bookowlie » 08 May 2018, 11:01

Ms Tri, A lot of the errors were missing punctuation in dialogue so they weren't too distracting. Still, there were also other spelling and other grammatical errors. Still, the story was fun even though it took a long time for the main plot to emerge.
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Post by kandscreeley » 08 May 2018, 11:26

I greatly dislike errors in a children's book. However, I have to admit that this sounds like one I want to pick up and read. It seems like such a cute idea. An almost scary story. :) Thanks for the review. I always love the information that you give.
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Post by AbbyGNelson » 08 May 2018, 11:32

Thanks for the review! This looks like a fun little book. To bad that the plot issues and other errors drag it down a bit.

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Post by teacherjh » 08 May 2018, 14:41

Animal investigators - that reminds me of the show "Wonder Pets".

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Post by SABRADLEY » 08 May 2018, 19:52

Having read one of the Snoopy Cat tales myself, I know exactly what you mean about the plot issues and editing errors. The author comes up with some fun storylines though! Thanks for a great review :)

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Post by AmySmiles » 08 May 2018, 20:07

I reviewed the 5th book and wasn't very impressed. Errors are never appealing especially in children's books. The author needs to get them an editor, especially since they seemed convinced to continue with the stories.
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Post by bookowlie » 08 May 2018, 21:53

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Kandscreeley - I like your term "almost scary." :) Vampire themes usually creep me out, so I liked that Dracco and his uncle were actually the "good guys" in the book. AmySmiles - I agree about the errors. Having errors in a children's book is particuarly bad, in my opinion; it sets a bad example for kids who are learning spelling and correct grammar.
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Post by Dolor » 09 May 2018, 10:29

I have read good things about Inca and its detective friends. I love cats and I'll probably take time to read this book though my age is way beyond your recommended audience' age range. The illustration on the cover seems spooky. So bad to hear about the errors. Thanks for the detailed review.

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Post by JJNP » 10 May 2018, 04:00

I love this series, I am going to read this book.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 13 May 2018, 09:10

Yes, Bookowlie, the age range is difficult to pinpoint. Even I would like to meet Dracco (surely taken from Dracula). Too bad R. F. Kristi didn't sweep the book for errors. She should as I'm sure Inca already has a loyal fandom.

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Post by bookowlie » 13 May 2018, 11:45

Miriam Molina - It's difficult to figure out what children's age group is best suited for this story. I guess parents could read aloud small sections to a younger child, but it would take a long time to finish the book. I am not sure a child would be able to keep track of the plot over a long period of individual read-alouds. The book is too long and involved for kids who are 7 or 8, and I think kids who are older than that will find the story too juvenile. I guess it all depends on the child. Some kids are advanced readers for their age.
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