Max Meow: Donuts and Danger by John Gallagher. Random House, 2021. 9780593121085
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Science fiction/fantasy
What did you like about the book? The town of Kittyopolis hasn’t been the same since Max Meow bit into a giant space meatball (in the first installment) and gained super powers. His friend Mindy – “Science Kitty” – also has powers, but she is hesitant to go public with her abilities, so she spends a lot of time in her underground laboratory inventing cool stuff. When a bunch of bad actors, lead by a cute evil squirrel, blows up the fireworks factory, with plans to coopt the world’s supply of donuts, you know things are going to get serious. Evil look-alikes the Catinator and Mandy, along with Reggie Robot, Iron Cat, and a bunch of penguin minions, are a mean and sugar-bent lot.
A short one-page prologue is the perfect catch-up to the world of Kittyopolis, and will help prepare readers for the peripatetic fight between the super energetic cat Max Meow and his thoughtful partner Mindy, a brown-skinned girl who is a perfectionist tech wizard, and the bad guys. There are lots of food puns, plus expressive comic book art and fun vocabulary, with occasional definitions. Each chapter ends with questions that will be answered in the next chapter, giving the story a classic comic book feel. There are allusions to the Twilight Zone, Elvis Presley, and more, to keep kids on their toes. A guide for drawing Mindy is at the end. This series is a fun superhero romp with cats for early grades.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? For fans of humorous graphic novels, such as Dog Man, and science fiction with cats, ages 7-10.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Graphic fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: June 1, 2021