Museum Kittens: The Midnight Visitor and The Mummy’s Curse by Holly Webb, illustrated by Sarah Lodge

Museum Kittens: The Midnight Visitor and The Mummy’s Curse by Holly Webb, illustrated by Sarah Lodge. Tiger Tales, 2020. 9781680104851, 9781680104868

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: Paperback

 Genre: Animal fantasy

What did you like about the book? An unnamed museum is home to dinosaur skeletons, Egyptian artifacts, priceless works of art, and a family of cats. These cats spend most of the daytime in the museum’s basement but roam the galleries in the evenings hunting for mice and rats and exploring the many treasures.  The feline family includes Grandpa Ivan, his daughter Smokey, and Smokey’s three kittens: Tasha, Bianca, and Boris.  The kittens are in training to become official museum cats, and each has their own special qualities.  In The Midnight Visitor, the trio becomes a quartet when tiny Peter arrives one rainy night.  The siblings are unsure if Peter will fit in, and he’s not sure he wants to, but when they have to fix a dinosaur disaster, they realize they definitely have room for one more on their team.  The Mummy’s Curse involves a new addition to the Egyptian gallery: a page from the Book of the Dead that many believe brings bad luck.  Strange things begin to happen around the museum, and the kittens soon find themselves working together to save the exhibit, and themselves, from a flood.

Short chapters, cute (and frequent) black and white illustrations, and the premise will surely appeal to young readers.  The kitten characters and their relationships with each other are very endearing, and they exhibit authentic feline behaviors even as they are discussing what they know about world history.  Back matter reveals the inspiration for the series – real museum cats from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg as well as the British Museum – and gives further information about Ancient Egypt.   

Anything you did not like about the book?  Occasional black pages with white printing were hard to read.

To whom would you recommend this book?  2nd-4th grade readers who love cats, adventure, and/or history will probably enjoy this new series; it would be a good fit for fans of the Magic Tree House and other similar sets.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction 

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.

Date of review: December 15, 2021

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