Cat brothers Anton and Cecil are on the road again…or above it, as the case may be.
Fresh from ocean and train trips (Cats at Sea, 2013, etc.), slim, smart Anton and his fluffy, trouble-magnet brother, Cecil, are ready to head home. Their friends in the mouse network give them directions that lead to their meeting Ruby, a bloodhound who works with a human detective. Ruby has a case she’d like the cats’ help on: puppies are going missing at the fair. The trio splits up, and with the help of other animals around the fair, they find the puppies are being dognapped. Danger-prone Cecil ends up in a trap meant to nab a puppy…and then in a hot air balloon. Separated again, the brothers must reunite and expose the human dog thieves while helping their animal friends along the way. Adult literary author Valerie Martin and her educator niece, Lisa Martin, present a mild third outing. While technically well-written, the action sequences are more wordy than wild, and the animal characters are so pleasant there’s very little tension in their world. They don’t understand everything the humans around them do, and that may elicit a few smiles from some young readers. Parents seeking a fright-free, friendly tale with few surprises need look no further.
Feline aficionados may love the cat characters, but the “mystery” won’t leave them purring. (Fantasy. 8-11)