Thursday, 9 June 2022

Review: Tails: The Animal Investigators of London by Martin Penny (Children's, 9 years +, 10/10E)

 March 2022, Eyewear Publishing, Hardback, 250 pages, Review copy 

Book summary from Blackspring Press

Yowl is a very special tabby kitten owned by 6-year-old Lucy. Sitting on her lap through endless children’s books, he learns to read. From the local paper, he discovers there’s a criminal on the loose in Croydon targeting cats. TV news reports confirm over seventy incidents.

With the help of his feline neighbours, he enlists the support of Big Red, the leader of the foxes, to hunt down the killer. Secret, a squirrel who’s afraid of heights, will play a crucial role, but it’s Hoot the owl whose help they need most. An eye in the sky will prove essential in identifying the culprit. Yowl will be forced to risk his life to earn his assistance.

Just as they’re making progress, the police close the case. They point the finger firmly in the direction of the foxes. In response, Big Red steps up their involvement. Together, they identify the killer, but what can they do to stop him?

Nayu's thoughts

 Having an animal mystery told from the perspective of a clever cat is a brilliant way to tell a tale and make it seem interesting. For starters Yowl is extremely clever - he does not know everything but that is what his friends are for. They aren't just cats and he has to make alliances with animals who would normally be trying to hunt the other, which in itself makes the story that bit more exciting. Yowl lacks some life experience but he makes up for that in charisma and a great sense of adventure. He does not want harm to come to cats, including himself, and he is in a good position to find the criminal and bring them to justice. 

There is a fair amount of humour in the interaction of Yowl and his friends, and bucketloads of danger when they deal with the criminal, and when unexpected problems occurs. The way that the team solve the case and make it obvious to the humans that the criminal is the culprit made it a book I couldn't put down and had to read in one sitting. I am really interested in seeing what Yowl's next adventure is, he has such a big presence in the book, a kind and caring cat with big plans to save his fellow animals from harm. Yes he gets in over his head and tail at times, but his confidence is what helps bring the case to a close. His relationship with his owner Lucy is charming and realistic.

Suggested read

If you like animal themed reads check out Ship Rats: A Tale of Heroism on the High Seas by Rhian Waller (Chidren's, 9 years +, 10/10E)


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