Sunday, October 30, 2022

Kitten Chaos

Faruqi, Saadia. Kitten Chaos (Must Love Pets #2)
October 4, 2022 by Scholastic Paperback
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Imaan and her friends have started a pet sitting service called Must Love Pets after they were called upon to watch a neighbor's dog during an emergency. Now that fifth grade is over, they are interested in ramping up their business. London has been Imaan's best friend for a long time, but Olivia has just moved to California and joined the group. Imaan's mother is a very busy free lance accountant who is trying to get the business of a neighbor, Mr. Greene, who is selling photographs on Etsy, and somehow the girls always seem to be in the way when he is discussing business. Since Imaan's father died of brain cancer when she was small, her grandfather, Dada Jee, has come from Pakistan to live with them and help take care of Imaan and her six year old brother, Amir. He is a little homesick, and has a lot of lemon trees growing in the backyard. He is in the middle of a harvest, and the kitchen is filled with buckets of lemons he intends to sell at the weekly farmer's market, which is somehow irritating the mother. Must Love Pets gets a referral and steps in to watch three adorable foster kittens who are more trouble than the girls expect! There are all manner of kitten hijinks as they climb curtains, escape outside, and even destroy some photographs of the mother's clients. Will the girls be able to get their charges under control and undo some of the damage the kittens cause Mr. Greene?
Strengths: This was a solid realistic fiction choice with Kids Doing Things. I liked that the girls had a business plan, even though it wasn't always easy to follow. The way they got clients was realistic. I enjoyed the storyline with Dada Jee and the fact that it hadn't occurred to his family that he might be homesick! The farmer's market was a fun setting. Of course, the kittens are the biggest draw here. This could easily be read as a stand alone; I've read so many pet sitting books that I thought I had read the first book in the series, Friends Fur-ever. I hadn't, but I got up-to-date very quickly.
Weaknesses: I was a bit unsure how Olivia's pictures saved the day when Mr. Greene could have reprinted his own, but it made for a nice connection. It also would not have hurt my feelings if Imaan's father were still alive.
What I really think: I would definitely buy this for an elementary library, but may wait to see if I have money leftover before purchasing this. I have a lot of similar titles already, like Howard's Girls Just Want to Have Pugs (and several others), Lang's Rules of the Ruff, Maple's Mission Impossible, Fairbairn and Assarasakorn's Paws: Gabby Gets It Together, Greenwald's Welcome to Dog Beach and even Marks' A Soft Place to Land.

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