Monday, January 28, 2019

Review - The Amazing Crafty Cat

The Amazing Crafty Cat (Crafty Cat #1)
by Charise Mericle Harper
Date: 2017
Publisher: First Second
Reading level: C
Book type: graphic novel
Pages: 128
Format: e-book
Source: library

Sometimes school can be scary and even embarrassing, but not today. Today is Birdie’s birthday, and everything will be perfect! Birdie's panda-riffic cupcakes are beautiful, and there’s one for everyone. She will be the star of the class. But then . . . disaster! A trip and fall on the way to school means no more cupcakes! Who can save the day? Who can make the class smile again? This is a job for Birdie’s alter ego . . . the Amazing Crafty Cat!

After a quick transformation, Birdie is ready. She’s not afraid of sticky paws or paper cuts. She’s not afraid of anything, even Anya, the class bully. It’s time to get crafting!

From Just Grace and Fashion Kitty author Charise Mericle Harper comes the first volume in a hilarious, charming, and sweet graphic novel trilogy for young readers about a little girl who can craft her way out of any situation. Each volume includes fun and simple instructions for do-it-yourself crafting activities. Get your paws ready for crafty time!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I might have liked this when I was six or seven... but I probably would've also been frustrated by the instructions for the crafts at the back of the book (meaning my mom would've hated it when she had to deal with my perfectionist tendencies).

The story is really quite stupid, and so juvenile that it's not even realistic. At times, I even wondered if the author was a child. The stuff with the grandfather (is he senile?) and the bully and her olive-induced farts are just ridiculous. I think those incidents were supposed to be funny, but they weren't. (Why would the grandfather bring cottage cheese and olives instead of cupcakes for Birdie's birthday celebration?)

I don't really get the whole thing with Crafty Cat, either. I mean, I understand that she's Birdie's alter ego, but crafting isn't really a superpower. It can't solve all your problems (as evidenced by the way she tries to fix her messy dress and ends up soaking wet).

The instructions for the crafts in the back are also bound to cause problems. Five out of six tell you to use a photocopier (because, yeah, every family has one of those just lying around). The instructions for the Panda Pal (which Birdie and her classmates make in the book) are extremely confusing. I couldn't figure out how to put it together based on the instructions given, and I probably spent a good five minutes puzzling over that before I finally got it. (I think the problem is that the instructions don't tell you to slip the paper under the slits. The instructions tell you to slip the tab "behind the first piece of paper--not both pieces", which is confusing since you're only working with one piece of paper. It should tell you to slip the tab between the slits.) If you're going to include instructions for a craft project in a kids' book, they need to be really clear so the crafting session doesn't end in tears.

This was pretty much a waste of time for me. The story was uninteresting, the characters were underdeveloped (or stereotypes), and the craft projects were boring and potentially frustrating. I wouldn't recommend this one at all.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing & Editing: 2/5
Illustration: 1/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 0/5

Overall Rating: 1.38 out of 5 ladybugs

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