The Sleepover Mystery & The Treasure Map (Museum Kittens) by Holly Webb, illustrated by Sarah Lodge

The Sleepover Mystery: Museum Kittens #3 and The Treasure Map: Museum Kittens #4 by Holly Webb, illustrated by Sarah Lodge. Tiger Tales, 2022. 9781664340268, 9781664340275. 

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

Format: Paperback

Genre: Animal fiction

What did you like about the book? In these two new adventures, readers will become more attached to this quartet of kittens who are in training to become official museum cats.  Siblings Boris and Bianca spend a lot of time bickering while their level-headed sister Tasha tries to keep the peace and their friend Peter is still figuring out how he fits in with his found family.  The kittens are part of a large group of cats inhabiting a history museum; they hide from visitors during the day and patrol the museum and its many exhibits at night. In The Sleepover Mystery, a spat with Boris leads Bianca to spend some time with a group of school children on a sleepover field trip in the Dinosaur Gallery.  The nefarious, revenge-seeking museum rats lure her into a chase which results in her getting trapped in a dollhouse in the toy exhibit as the other kittens desperately try to find her.  The Treasure Map finds the foursome once again duped by the rat squad.  The rats lead the kittens on a treasure hunt, only to realize that a rat’s idea of treasure is somewhat different than that of a museum kitten.  But in the process, Boris uncovers an actual treasure map involving an old ship in dry dock at the museum.  The kittens need the help of their wise Grandpa Ivan to solve this mystery.

Short chapters, cute (and frequent) black and white illustrations, and the premise will surely appeal to the target audience.  The kitten characters and their relationships with each other are very endearing; young readers might appreciate the way these siblings squabble and make up in very human ways even as they tend to each other in authentic feline ways.  Each of the kittens has their unique talent and personality, and they even have their own special favorite museum sections. Boris is the fearless one and he loves the exhibits on knights and armor, while his charming sister Bianca prefers the costumes and the jewels.  A museum map is included in the beginning of each volume, and the author includes back matter that explains the inspiration behind some of the artifacts and treasures on display in the museum.

Anything you did not like about the book?  The rats are creepy.

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/series chapter books

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: July 3, 2022

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