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Tabby's First Quest (Kitten Kingdom #1) by…
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Tabby's First Quest (Kitten Kingdom #1) (edition 2019)

by Mia Bell (Author)

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Princess Tabby is no scaredy-cat! Princess Tabby loves playing in the palace with her brothers and reading about brave kitty heroes. When Tabby and her brothers accidentally give away a magic scroll to the evil King Gorgonzola, they must leave the safety of their castle to get it back. But reading about adventures and going on a real quest are two very different things. Tabby's never been afraid before, but suddenly she doesn't feel so brave. Will she be able to find her courage and save Mewtopia?… (more)
Member:BridgeElementary01
Title:Tabby's First Quest (Kitten Kingdom #1)
Authors:Mia Bell (Author)
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2019), 128 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tabby's First Quest (Kitten Kingdom #1) by Mia Bell

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As I've said before, I think it's fine to have lots of "fluff" in your beginning chapter books - and in your library for that matter. I read plenty of genre fiction, including trashy romance, and why shouldn't kids read books about kitten princesses, unicorns (with really bad dialogue) and so forth. But sometimes a book goes a little too far and I feel that the message is just not a good one.

On the surface, this is another fluffy beginning chapter book. Literally. Princess Tabby and her brothers, Felix and Leo, love the idea of going on a quest even though they've never done anything more exciting than sneak candy while Nanny Mittens sleeps. Tabby tries to take her brothers on a real adventure, sneaking a peek at the magical Golden Scroll, but they accidentally give it away - to someone they suspect is none other than the evil rat king Gorgonzola!

The kittens learn that Gorgonzola took over the peaceful kingdom of Rottingham and is trying to bring Mewtopia under his control. Instead of confessing the truth to their parents, the kittens sneak out of the castle, rescue the goldsmith's daughter Clawdia, and follow the track of Gorgonzola to the horrible underground kingdom of Rottingham. Tabby balks at entering the dark, but gathers her courage when her brothers are captured. She finds the rat kingdom in ruins, Gorgonzola plotting to turn Mewtopia into a trash dump, and the rats starving. Tabby uses a clever trick and some stinky cheese to free her brothers and they all work together to keep wicked Gorgonzola from reading his own laws onto the magic scroll. They keep their identities secret to the end, ready for another adventure.

So, this is a pretty straight-forward fluff adventure. But... the behavior of the cats and the rats just felt very... wrong. So, wicked king Gorgonzola is obviously oppressing the rats. They're literally starving. Yes, they threaten the kittens and would rather hope for a handout from Gorgonzola when he's in charge than ally with the cats to bring down their wicked king, but they're presented in a way that I can only call racist. The rats are dirty and starving because they are evil and deserve it, is the clear message I got. On top of that, I am a bit tired of feudal monarchies being presented as good. The kittens parents are clueless at best - why on earth should they be ruling? The kittens themselves originally get the idea for an adventure when they're stealing candy and then, rather than admit what they've done wrong, go out to fix it themselves. They have no concept of life outside the castle and somehow I really doubt that every cat in Mewtopia is happily employed and content with their lot...

Verdict: There really isn't anything worse about this than other fluffy series, but I feel like we really don't need any more books that "other" a different group and so I'll pass.

ISBN: 9781338292343; Published 2019 by Scholastic; Borrowed from another library in my consortium
  JeanLittleLibrary | Aug 31, 2019 |
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Princess Tabby is no scaredy-cat! Princess Tabby loves playing in the palace with her brothers and reading about brave kitty heroes. When Tabby and her brothers accidentally give away a magic scroll to the evil King Gorgonzola, they must leave the safety of their castle to get it back. But reading about adventures and going on a real quest are two very different things. Tabby's never been afraid before, but suddenly she doesn't feel so brave. Will she be able to find her courage and save Mewtopia?

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