With white fur, blue eyes, and a diamond-studded, pink velvet collar, Misty wasn’t your typical alley cat. Dingy Litter Alley in the backstreets of Felcanham was the last place you’d expect to find a cat like Misty.
She padded along between the rows of rubbish bins, taking great care to keep her paws well away from the dirty puddles on the ground. And with every step she took, the feeling that she was being watched grew stronger.
A sudden noise behind Misty made her stumble. Her front paw slid into a puddle, splashing muddy droplets all over her fur.
She looked at the browny-black spots in horrow, then saw something even more frightening. From the shadows between the rubbish bins, ten yellow eyes were staring at her.
Kitten Kaboodle is a secret agent, not content with a normal cat life. He’s the go-to cat when there are mysterious disappearances. This time, it’s pedigree kittens that are vanishing and it’s up to Kitten Kaboodle, No 1 agent for CAT (Clandestine Activity Taskforce) to sort out what’s going on. He goes undercover as a pedigree kitten and allows himself to be kidnapped (kit-napped?) by DOG (Disaster Organisation Group). He discovers their dastardly plan despite nearly giving himself away with his awesomeness. There are black and white illustrations throughout giving ‘face’ to the myriad characters and breaking up the text.
‘Kitten Kaboodle Mission One: The Catier Emerald )’ shows just what your pet animals get up to when they vanish in the night. Cats work alone, mostly, and dogs act in groups. Cats are bright, dogs have grand plans but are not as smart as they think they are. Non-pedigreed and non-pampered animals are likely to be more resilient than pampered pedigrees. Lots of fun and puns wrapped up in an over-the-top mystery about a famous diamond. Young independent readers will enjoy this exploration of the secret lives of animals, which references the style of many classic whodunits. Heath McKenzie’s illustrations combine the cute and the clever in each cat, and the comic brutishness of the enthusiastic but not-so-bright dogs. Recommended for lower- to mid-primary independent readers.
Kitten Kaboodle Mission One: The Catier Emerald ), Eileen O’Hely ill Heath McKenzie
Walker Books Australia 2014 ISBN: 9781921529931
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller