4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat is the seventh book in the Inca Cat Detective Series by R.F. Kristi. Kristi tells the story of Inca, who goes on vacation with her family to Sri Lanka. They spend the first day at the sparkling beach. Later, they learn that robbers took a sword and gold coins from the local museum. Inca and her animal friends team-up to try to save the artifacts and find the robbers even though they are on vacation and experiencing lots of exciting new things. Inca chronicles their adventures in her diary.
I appreciate the diversity of characters and activities that are included in the story. Inca and her squad take a train ride, visit a tea plantation, and go on a driving safari. They meet a lot of new animal friends such as a sea turtle, a baby elephant, a python, and leopards. They experience cultural differences and learn about Sri Lanka’s lovely beaches and historical sites.
The format, visual elements, and typography of the book are cheerful. The illustrations are amusing and include fun details. I especially liked the one showing Inca dreaming of herself in the garb of royalty because she is being “crowned by angels as the best detective cat on the planet.” Another fun illustration shows a wide-eyed robber as he skulks on tip-toes away from the scene of the crime.
The author includes a variety of useful messages and behavior modeling for kids in the story. One passage, a helpful example of positive self-talk, reads: “Then, all of a sudden, the bright moon came out like a friendly soul, and my courage returned. I told myself that I could deal with this situation.” The story also emphasizes how much Inca values and appreciates her family. They don’t give up on themselves or each other, and they work as a team. The characters cooperate to help others and put their particular talents to good use. For example, even Rani, a little turtle, can help. Rani swims from the beach all the way out to a boat to investigate a clue.
Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat is meant for kids ages 7-12. In addition to casual reading at home, this book would be great for classroom and homeschool use because Kristi uses some challenging vocabulary words and several very brief mentions of fascinating information about Sri Lanka. These facts spice up the story and provide great prompts for additional research and discussion. For example, we learn that Sri Lanka is home to the oldest living tree known to be planted by a human. Naturally, I had to learn more about that.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat provides ample opportunities to start conversations and engage with kids about the animals, geography, and culture of Sri Lanka. It’s the kind of book that is fun to read but also delivers a lot of interesting facts. It has a variety of wholesome messages for kids and will help parents highlight traits and behaviors that will help them in life.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like dtb's review? Post a comment saying so!