cover image Scaredy Cat

Scaredy Cat

James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, illus. by John Herzog. Little, Brown/Patterson, $13.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-49443-4

When the erudite Pasha (a three-year-old, male, white long-haired Persian born in Russia) and neurotic Poop (a two-year-old, female, gray British shorthair) are adopted by the exuberant Wilde family from a kill shelter in an American town called Fairview, the two cats look forward to a life as cherished companions. No sooner have they moved into their new home on Strawberry Lane than they’re visited by the ghost Scaredy Cat, who claims dominance over the neighborhood and demands their obedience. If they refuse, he promises to ensure they’re cast out and abandoned. Poop and Pasha swear to free the cats of the area from Scaredy Cat’s tyranny by uniting those he has already tormented, but to do so they must discover his greatest secret. With this whimsical yet unnerving ghost story, Patterson and Grabenstein (the Max Einstein series) explore the secret lives of cats, capturing their mercurial natures and capricious behavior even as they cast the feline mystique in a new light. Herzog’s b&w animation-style illustrations of the cast add a layer of whimsy, while underlying themes of human mistreatment and abandonment provide a sobering reminder of responsibility and obligation for pet owners. Ages 8–12. [em](Mar.) [/em]