Thursday, December 30, 2021

Time Heist: Cat Ninja #8

Cody, Matt and Thomas, Chad. Time Heist: Cat Ninja #8
October 12th 2021 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy provided by the Publisher

Cat Ninja, and his sidekick Master Hamster, are back in another adventure. Their humans, Leon and Marcie, know all about their exploits. When Leon brings home an egg from school, the two are left to babysit it, even though Cat Ninja is plenty busy figuring out why OctoPunch has turned evil and is wreaking havoc on the community, and Master Hamster is even busier crafting flying food bowls so that he doesn't have to move from the couch in order to get a snack. It turns out that the owlet that hatches, whom they name Hoot, is the daughter of Chronowl, who has sent her through time to keep her safe. While Leon and Marcie have to deal with their parents' divorce and moving between two households, Cat Ninja needs to worry about a variety of super villains, Elan Mollusk, and threats from Cuckoo, which all seem to be tied into Hoot's fate. Will he be able to keep everyone safe, given that Master Hamster is a somewhat less than helpful sidekick?
Strengths: Cat Ninja and his humans have a charming relationship, and I found Leon and Marcie's activities with their mom rather interesting. They also want to keep Hoot, but their mother thinks he should be turned into a wildlife rescue, which added an interesting twist. Most young readers will be more interested in Cat Ninja and his highjinks with a variety of villains. The time travel component of this was a nice addition. These books are the closest thing I have seen to the comic books that I remember in the 1970s. When we were on vacation, my parents would let my brother and me get a comic or two at a gas station in Breezewood, PA, and we looked at our small collection for years. The chapters are episodic in the same way that I remember the ones in our Richie Rich comics being. A lot of fun for young readers.
Weaknesses: The paper and ink on these always gives me a headache. I should go sniff some of my older titles to see if this dissipates over time. 
What I really think: If I ran an elementary library, I would purchase this entire series. Prices range from $8.99 for a paperback to $16.89 for a prebind. Since the paper over board hardcover is $12.51, I'm not sure what the best format to purchase would be. My middle school students would certainly read these, but I don't have enough space to invest in too many series like this. Epic! has a number of good choices for these graphic novels. 
 Ms. Yingling

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