Review: Toto the Ninja Cat and the Superstar Catastrophe

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations



Book Title: Toto the Ninja Cat and the Superstar Catastrophe (available here)

Author: Dermot O’Leary

Illustrator: Nick East

Publisher: Hachette Children's

Publication Date: September 2019

This is Dermot O’Leary’s third book in the Toto series, inspired by his own cats rescued from Italy as strays.


Just like her real-life counterpart, Toto the cat is almost completely blind. Together with her brother Silver, the cats exist in an exciting world where London’s animals come into their own at night and operate in a highly-organised society that humans barely notice, including riding on the tube, consuming beverages from award-winning milkbars, attending music festivals and tracking down criminals (like fraudulent guinea-pigs and safe-cracking gangs of eels). Toto and Silver are becoming well-known for their ninja-style successes in fighting the animal world's criminal networks.


In this third ninja adventure, the cats are taking a well-earned break at the world’s most famous animal music festival: Catstonbury. Before long, things at the festival begin to look out of place and Toto smells a rat - or to be more precise an evil super villain with a plan for world domination using a famous rock band as puppets. It’s up to Toto and her friends to prevent a terrible global catastrophe before time runs out.


Dermot’s writing is fast-paced, action-packed and filled to the brim with cat-related puns. Toto is a superheroic cat who is painted in the stories with humour, personality and heart - the creation of a writer who clearly adores his own feline companions - and the warmth of the characterisation will appeal highly to young readers who know what it feels like to cherish a pet of their own. The amusing antics of the urbanite animals are brought to life by cartoon black-and-white illustrations by Nick East and in-text highlighted key phrases in bold, comic-like, capitalised bursts.


Appealing for children to pick up and filled with action, this is the kind of series that will hook lots of young readers in (pitched well for those in the 7-9 age bracket or for more reluctant older readers) and give them real enjoyment in the reading experience.


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You can order Toto the Ninja Cat and the Superstar Catastrophe online or from your local bookshop or library.


Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book and for inviting me to the launch event.


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