Author: Deanna Kent
Similar books: Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires
Platypus Police Squad by Jarrett Krosoczka
Summary (provided by publisher): Ophelia von Hairball is on a mission to be the world’s most famous cat burglar. In order to win the prestigious Top Burglar Award from the Furry Feline Burglary Institute (FFBI), she must steal the giant Himalayan diamond. But her ne-fur-ious cousin Pierre will stop at nothing to thwart her plans. Determined to get her paws on the prize, Ophelia reluctantly enlists the help of Oscar F. Gold, a goldfish who invents nifty gadgets. Together, they embark on a globe-trotting mission to pull off Ophelia's most daring heist yet!
My opinion: A heist plot isn't the first thing you think of for a young audience. It's also somewhat counter-intuitive to have a career thief as your protagonist in children's fiction. Kent is aware of these potential concerns. Members of the FFBI steal jewels, but only to prove they can do it and then they return the loot to the owners. Their goals are more about being classy and smart than acquiring goods. Really, that's the central message of this book: the difference between doing things the right way, thinking through all the angles, and doing things the easy way. There are, of course, messages about being a team player and fighting fair, as is typical of kid's novels. This volume gives us a solid introduction to a few characters, aspects I'd expect to see built upon in future volumes. The print books is peppered with stylized, appealing illustrations. The audio book has a great sense of timing. It's not so slow as to become boring but not so fast that a young listener will have difficulty following. Eileen Stevens narrates with a variety of voices.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley, Audio provided by Macmillain Audio