It’s the first day of school, and cat Peachy is finally old enough to join Happy Tails School’s student newspaper.
When Peachy finds out the paper has been shuttered, she’s devastated. How will she fulfill her dream of being a star reporter? Principal Trunx, an elephant (obviously), tells her no one reads the paper anymore; they’re focused on their phones (Chimpstagram is quite popular). Peachy comes up with a brilliant idea: she’ll start a digital magazine her classmates can read on their (bizarrely named) PinePhones. However, there’s a caveat—school rules require all clubs to have at least six members. So far, it’s just Peachy and her best friend fur-ever, Keen, a perpetually hungry pup who’s fond of wearing costumes to school, so the two set out to recruit members for Purrfect9. To Peachy’s dismay, Keen makes false promises—free gold and red-carpet access—to gain members, but fortunately, their recruits stick around. It looks like Peachy’s dream is coming true, but when Keen publishes a cartoon that perfectionist Peachy didn’t approve, their friendship—and Purrfect9’s fate—is put to the test. Puns, irony, and wordplay make up much of the third-person narration; the full-color spot art is Saturday morning cartoon–cute. The plot and concepts feel very middle school, at odds with the low page count and young look.
Doesn’t rise to the top of the school-and-friendship barrel. (Fiction. 5-9)