Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R.F Kristi
Review by Lauren1
Diary of a Snoopy Cat is an adventurous children’s tale by R.F Kristi. It is narrated by the protagonist of the story, Inca. She is a fame-seeking, diary-keeping, wanna-be detective, but not just any old detective; Inca, the Siberian kitty wants to be a detective ‘Par Excellence’. With the help of a half-dozen other critter characters and the fact that she can communicate her thoughts to her owner telepathically, she chronicles the events taking place in the twelve days before Christmas and simultaneously reaches her goal.
The clever-looking book cover was endearing to me and I looked forward to setting my mind on a simple children’s story, which I wished to fall in love with. It was not to be, however, as I struggled to imagine the specific age group that Diary of a Snoopy Cat might have been written for. There are multiple plots and some deal with heavy issues – beyond what a young child would grasp or even care about, yet what fourth or fifth-grader would choose to read this juvenile-looking book? (I’m referring to the cover art and animated story font.) Subjects and themes that R.F Kristi covers in this story include: friendship even though we’re different; striving to reach your goals; theft of a will and being evicted from your home; fearing someone is dead and going on a mission to find them; amnesia; being famous; mental telepathy; and being fat.
It seems to me this busy story could be split and expounded on in a few separate books: A narrative of saving a man lost in the mountain; the mystery of the Senora’s missing necklace; a story of how Ned came to live with Mr. Finchley; a yarn about a cheese shop; a tale about a cat show; an account of Mr. Finchley’s missing will. Having said that, once Hobbs, Solo and Terrence leave for Nepal in search of the Senora’s missing husband, Raoul, (they are out of the story to return in the end) we have three fewer characters and their escapades, to keep track of.
I personally hold writers of books for children to a higher standard of grammar and punctuation. They know their audience is highly impressionable and therefore should strive for excellence. In this tangled story we are introduced to at least eighteen characters – some human – most of them cats and dogs. Adding to the confusion is the lack of paragraphs separating the different speaker’s dialogue from the narrator’s inner dialogue. The profuse improper use of exclamation marks and question marks was at times, ridiculous and alarming. There was an absence of end quotation marks on so many sentences that I thought it might be a punctuation rule in Great Britain.
With proper editing, the very creative tale, Diary of a Snoopy Cat, would be a delightful reading experience for children. I deducted one star for the confusion and another for the editing issues. I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.