Who would have thought that I could read and enjoy a book written mainly for children! This is one book that will hold the attention of the most fidgety child and captivate and entertain them.
The ‘Kiwi’ series by author Vickie Johnstone revolves around Amy and James, two young children who own a cat named Kiwi. One night, as they see their cat outside staring at the moon, they go down and start following her, until she disappears in a cloud of purple smoke! As she returns and starts talking (Of course, a talking cat, this is a children’s book after all), she instructs the kids to do to mimic her and suddenly they find themselves turned into kittens and this is where their adventure begins.
Kiwi takes the new kittens to ‘Cat City’ which is quite similar to our world with cafes and shops, roads and cars and even a police station. This is the ‘double life of Kiwi, where she works as a detective. The trio is handed a case by Inspector Furrball as soon as they enter this new world, one involving ‘catnappings’. They are joined by the inspector’s nephew, Paws on this case. As they start investigating, a mystery evolves and the rest of the story is about how this unusual group solves this mystery.
This is a really clean mystery, you will not find people (oh sorry, cats) getting hurt. Even the guns are freeze guns to avoid any bloodshed. However, the suspense is amazingly created and maintained throughout the book. I was quite surprised to find myself not willing to put the book down. The mystery of the story has been really well designed and has enough twists to keep everyone guessing.
The author has modified a number of words enough to give them a ‘catty’ twist. This was something I found quite amusing and I liked the imagination it involved. Also the world, although familiar to us, is adapted for the cats that inhabit it. For example, you can find mouse treats and fish biscuits, milk instead of soft drinks, scratching posts and cat toys littered for their entertainment.
I was somewhat disappointed by the abrupt end, but knowing that this is a series, it is something I should have expected and accepted. I am not saying the mystery was not solved, but the author has left a few strands open to continue the series. I am amazed to be saying this, but I would love to continue reading about the new adventures these kids/kittens get into.
I can say that this would make an excellent book for parents to read along with their children. This is a great place to start to get children interested in reading and wean them away from Facebook television and their gaming boxes.