Title: I Miss You Very Muchly: City of the Cats
Author: Rick Marino
Illustrators: Joseph Emnace and Manolito Bastasa
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Page Count: 80
Quote ~ “Please, please help. Nika is in terrible trouble. In one hour, at midnight, she will be brought to the chalkboard room, and she is so small that I fear she will not be able to survive it.”
Audience ~ Targeted toward preschool to early-elementary school aged children, this paperback would be enjoyed by those that like pets, especially dogs. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, its more complicated wording may be best read out loud by adults to beginner readers.
Contents ~ After a dedication, acknowledgments, and introduction, sixteen chapters contain two to five pages each. Almost every story includes an illustration.
Author ~ Having written two children’s books regarding his shih tzu, Rick Marino has been featured on CNBC and Bloomberg Radio. His wife and he have been raising pets for decades.
Illustrator ~ With no biography of the artists, the front cover by Joseph Emnace shows a dog walking down a dark street. Inside, Manolito Bastasa’s black and white cartoon-like drawings cover the full page.
Characters ~ The central character is Nika, a young dog who misses her human brother. A possum, sweat bee, bird, old dog, cat, and puppy help the canine find her way home.
Description ~ In this tale that could be read a chapter at bedtime, little Nika gets upset when her older brother goes away to college. Missing him badly, she sneaks out of her house to find him. Old dog Harrison tells her not to venture to the wrong side of town called the City of the Cats, where dogs are tortured.
At a local park she meets Sammy “Seed Shooter,” Sweetie Sweat Bee, and Hurdie Gurdie Birdie who feel sorry for her and promise to help. However, when a cat named Penelope Purr sees the dog, she cons Nika to go to the City of the Cats so she can finally see her family again.
Duped, Nika is told she has one hour until she is punished. When she meets Marco, another dog, they hide in his secret place. Will the dogs get rescued by Nika’s friends and make it back home to Mommy and Daddy?
Pros ~ Promoting friendship, the book shows how working as a team benefits others. The story shows to what extent some will go to protect those they love, especially if they are their pets.
Cons ~ Due to the length of the book, it may not be able to be read at one sitting to a young child. With rudimentary designs, it is up to the child’s imagination to visualize the story.
Opinion ~ Everyone loves their pets and would be heartbroken if theirs was missing. This tale shows how teamwork and love for others produce a happy ending.
Rating ~ 4.5 of 5 stars
Appreciation ~ Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.