A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat series by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth hits the sweet spot for young readers who have ever felt out of place and wanted a tough-as-nails sidekick to help them not feel vulnerable. Klawde might not be the kind of warm, tenderhearted cat who snuggles up to show his appreciation, but he's loyal and fierce, and he knows his way around a pile of electronics. These books aren't a quick read -- the shifting between narrators takes some concentration -- but they're fun and feisty and filled with fantasy. The first two books, Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat and Enemies, came out in February 2019. The third, The Spacedog Cometh, comes out Oct. 8, 2019.
What's the story?
In the KLAWDE: EVIL ALIEN WARLORD CAT series, the cat known on his home planet as Lord High Emperor Wyss-Kuzz the Magnificent has been exiled to Earth, a terrible place where the local cats can't speak intelligently or build even the most basic teleporter. Raj, who moved across the country after his mom got a new job, is ecstatic to finally get a cat and names this quirky, aggressive fur friend Klawde. But when Klawde starts speaking in English and orders Raj to help him build the equipment to get back to his home planet, Raj realizes that having a cat with crazy powers might be just the friend he needs to navigate the complicated social world of his new town.
Is it any good?
This series about a talking cat who's trying to get back to his home planet is a fun, fresh way to look at kid troubles like anger management and feeling out of place. It isn't easy navigating intergalactic friendships between species, but somehow Raj's kind, quiet nature is the perfect foil for his alien cat's over-the-top aggression. The writing in the Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat series is a bit dense, and readers need to focus to follow the narration jumps between the cat from Lyttyrboks and the kid from Brooklyn. The wordplay is lovely, though, and it's worth sounding out Klawde's odd spellings to find hidden jokes.
Raj's interactions with the kids in his new town seem a little unrealistic (most parents wouldn't send their kid to a survival camp alone when he's already feeling vulnerable in their new town), but when the premise is a cat who builds teleporters from memory, it's best not to question the reality and to just sit back and enjoy a funny, engaging read.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about feeling like an outsider as it's dealt with in the Klawde: Evil Alien Warlod Cat series. What makes Raj feel so different from everyone else when he moves to his new town? Have you ever felt out of place in your own town?
Do you think Klawde will ever go back to his home planet for good? Do you think he'd want to take Raj with him -- and would Raj want to go?
There are some kids in Raj's camp and school who seem to like to be intimidating. Why do you think they act like that? Have you read other books with these kinds of characters?
- Authors: Johnny Marciano, Emily Chenoweth
- Illustrator: Robb Mommaerts
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Penguin Workshop
- Publication date: February 26, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: May 26, 2019
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