Author Colleen AF Venable and illustrator Stephanie Yue, who previously collaborated on the Guinea Pig Pet Shop Private Eye series, reunite for Katie the Catsitter. This empathetic and exciting superhero series opener is sure to be adored by readers who can’t get enough adventure stories, mysterious goings-on, coming-of-age tales or cats. Many, many, many cats.
The story opens as Katie is lamenting the start of the most boring summer ever, because her BFF Bethany is headed to a pricey sleep-away camp. Then inspiration strikes. Katie hangs a poster in her apartment building hallway advertising odd-job services to her neighbors, in hopes of earning enough money to join Bethany for a week.
After killing plants she was hired to water and dropping groceries she was hired to carry up the stairs, Katie begins to feel desperate. Even worse, Bethany is sending fewer postcards than usual. Could their friendship be waning? Katie is shocked out of her glumness when her mysterious neighbor Ms. Lang makes an offer that seems almost too good to be true: Might Katie want to catsit for $30 an hour?
Katie’s thrilled, but she soon realizes the gig entails dealing with a lot more than hairball hurking and furniture scratching. Although her 217 (yes, 217) charges are definitely cute and cuddly, they’re also wild and wily, with decidedly un-feline talents ranging from computer hacking to coordinated thievery to costume design. And, Katie muses, isn’t it strange that every time the friendly and kind Ms. Lang needs her to catsit, the supervillain Mousetress wreaks havoc on the city?
Yue’s warm and hilarious artwork winningly captures the furry whirlwind that is Ms. Lang’s apartment, as well as the emotions that cross Katie’s face as she contemplates losing a friend and making new ones, not to mention her own growing self-confidence. Yue’s renderings of settings ranging from sharp-edged city skylines to a wacky wax museum to a dramatic night-cloaked forest are downright clever, too.
Katie the Catsitter takes readers to all these places and more. Venable’s twisty plot swoops gleefully around Manhattan, touching on everything from animal activism to evolving relationships to a secret rescue mission, and combining to tell the story of one of the least boring summers ever—while dropping tantalizing hints at thrilling seasons to come. The book’s charming back matter includes a delightful illustrated list of all 217 extraordinary cats. Meow!