Review: Toto The Ninja Cat and the Superstar CATastrophe

Published by Hodder Children’s Books
Published on 5th March
Illustrated by Nick East

Toto The Ninja Cat and the Superstar CATastrophe will certainly appeal to its young audience.  Two of our Year 3 classes have already chosen it as their Book Raffle prize – and the books I purchased for them arrived with gorgeous keyrings (see image).  Visually, it is CATcredibly appealing with the use of a larger font and bold capitalised lettering which will absolutely engage and appeal to the reader as will the use of the cutest pawprints throughout and, of course, the many gorgeous bold and distinctive black-and-white illustrations by Nick East which are an absolutely perfect complement to the story.

Toto is a member of the Ancient Order of International Ninja Cats, a secret organisation, who is a master at fighting crime, and on her seventh mission. Following yet another success, her friend Catface feels that she deserves a well-earned break, so treats her and her brother Silver to tickets for the best music festival in the animal world: Catstonbury. What could possibly go wrong?

Whilst on the train to the festival, they meet the lead singer of the headlining band, Jonny and the Shorthairs. He is arrogant, full of himself, adores adulation and, of course, can’t help trying to better the ninja cat – most unsuccessfully! Has Toto made an enemy before she arrives at the festival?

Understandably, Toto is rather surprised when she arrives at the festival to be called to the tent of Jonny by one of his security guards. Jonny tells her that he needs her help as he is certain someone is out to get him: could this be true, or is it more likely to be a figment of his egocentric imagination? Either way, Toto feels obliged to protect him under the Ninja Code. But, has she taken on more than even she can cope with as an evil villain is intent on using the festival for his own dastardly plan? Danger, excitement and CAT-tastic daring and adventure ensue as Toto and her friends attempt to foil the villain …

Toto is almost totally blind but in no way lets this define her, or hold her back from doing anything she wants to! Her ninja skills are second to none; and she is brave, clever and resourceful. She has a wonderful friendship with the other animals, showing off playful natures: they work as a brilliant team, helping and supporting each other.

This is an action-packed, fast-paced story with lots of humour and playful use of language which is just perfect for young fans of animal stories or humorous adventures, and would also be a great read aloud either in the classroom or at home.

Thank you to Hachette Children’s Group and Fritha Lindqvist for a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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