Also illustrated by Phil Corbett (mega talented!)
For ages 8+
Huge welcome to everyone reading this who found me today via the Simon & Schuster Blog Tour! Lovely to see you! I'm so happy to share my book review and some exclusive character cards with you all. Hopefully you'll feel inspired to borrow a copy from your library or purchase a copy from your local bookshop (or online from my Bookshop.org shop link at the end of this article).
My daughter, Ava, has been getting first dibs on Phil Corbett's pawsome 'Kitty Quest' graphic novel series in our house - like me, she loves graphic novels and is obsessed with cats. So, I'm relieved to say that I have finally managed to sneak the latest in the series 'Kitty Quest: Trial by Tentacle' from her room now she's finished it, and read it before she gets withdrawal symptoms!
About the story
If you are new to this fab series, then here's a quick précis of book 1: Woolfrik and Perigold are best friends who are desperate to be monster hunters, however business is very slow. That is until an old cat/lady (not to be confused with a 'cat lady', as all the characters are either cats, slugs or monsters) needs a monster removed from her creepy basement. It turns out to be a groaning drain which is resolved with a plunger and she pays them with a huge pink gem that turns out to be worthless, at least at the broccoli flatbread stand. The gem then magically transforms into the mysterious 'Tower of Kitquaroo' when tossed into the town's putrid slug infested slime pit, and a ghost called Mortimore swears them into the 'resurrected' medieval-style 'Guild of Kitquaroo' - the protectors against monsters, and gives them proper awesome yarn embellished sparkling new weaponry. Lots of fun, jokes, a monster and a baddie later, they're back for book 2 and a new monster quest! YAY!
The Islands of Pawdor are once again under threat from monsters and our young Kitty Quest heroes, Woolfrik and Perigold are called upon to save the people of Meowminster...
The story begins with the happy duo enjoying a spot of shrooming in the woods - that's hunting for mushrooms with a bit of magic (of course!). Feeling rather proud of themselves, having just become the town's new (but incredibly naïve) heroes, they're rather stumped when they come across a two-headed, two-arm and two-legged armoured monster on the bridge on their way home to the city.
A new challenge so soon? No, a perfect opportunity to use their new weapons and win the day, for might is right is it not? Love a bit of Plato... I digress. The battle doesn't go well, it seems they're no match for the mightier swords of this new foe. Luckily some of their mushrooms fly through the air and wiggle their way into the armour and eject its occupants... two cheeky young felines called Bella and Cosette! They found the magic armour in a tree trunk and following the instruction manual became the bridge guardians. Reminiscent of the Holy Grail's classic scene with John Cleese as the Knight with his legendary "none shall pass", Python fans will have a little giggle to themselves at this point, as I did.
Meanwhile back in Meowminster, it's chaos! Giant slugs pulling carts of kitties just can't escape fast enough. There's a new monster-sized threat and according to an old cat/lady they're "bug-eyed, writing, tentacled, ferocious beasts". Back at the tower Mortimore briefs Woolfrik and Perigold on their quest. It sounds like the 'Graspurts' are in town, and they're ferocious, usually live deep below the sea, play something called a 'slaughter horn' (nice) and have slimy tentacles. * Gulp *
Off they set. Mission instructions from Mortimore: use diplomacy over weaponry. An alien concept to our comedic knightly kitties. When it comes down to it, which side will stealthily outmanoeuvre the other first? After accidentally and rather foolishly ending up in the middle of the Graspurts battle formation, Woolfrik and Perigold save their furs thanks to their gift of the gab skills and end up agreeing to a 'Trial by Tentacle', the ancient Graspurtian rules of conquest... a Graspurt must fight another Graspurt (who supports Meowminster's cause) with a ceremonial trident.
It's mind boggling. It's got to be impossible - how can Woolfrik and Perigold convince an invading Graspurt to fight for their cause, and before an hour glass runs out? One thing leads to another and thanks to Cosette and Bella (the guardians of the bridge) they come up with a 'cunning plan'... and it really does have a bit of a Blackadder-esq banter to it at times, tee hee. However, I'm not going to tell you any details of the cunning plan henceforth that might or might not succeed. You are going to ABSOLUTELY need to read this fun, funny, feline fantasy graphic novel for yourself. Know this though... there will be ice cream and a trip to the seaside - perfect for a Summer holiday read.
With pun-tactic asides, jovial dialogue, sneaky plot twists, a huge amount of luck, and many a philosophy lesson for your child's unconscious mind, it's a winner in my eyes (and Ava's) and we can't wait for Kitty Quest 3!
Remember - graphic novels are 'real books', real books that children can read to enhance, not hinder progression in their reading journey. I never again want to hear a parent in a bookshop say to their child in a voice filled with shame that they can't have a graphic novel because it's not a 'real book'! Spread the word!
Exclusive 'Kitty Quest' character cards
The awesome team at Simon & Schuster have given me these two fabulous character cards from Kitty Quest that you are very welcome to download onto your devices and enjoy.
About the creator
Phil Corbett (author & illustrator)
Phil Corbett is a professional storyteller. He was the last person to write and illustrate the adventures of one of the oldest comic characters in the world, Korky the Cat, from the UK comic magazine The Dandy. He's previously worked in the gaming and toy industry with clients such as Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, Nintendo, and PlayStation. Kitty Quest is his debut graphic novel.
Grab a copy
Buy here through my affiliate link at Bookshop.org or purchase from your local independent bookshop...
Publication date: 23 June 2022
Also available in this series by Phil Corbett:
Praise for Kitty Quest :
' Fantastically funny and epically exciting!Kitty Quest is a ridiculous thrill from start to finish!' - Jamie Smart, creator of the Bunny vs. Monkey series
' So funny! Phil Corbett is a genius!' - Rob Biddulph, author of Draw With Rob
'Fun, fast-paced and hilarious. Kitty Quest is a must-read - especially if you love a good cat-pun!' - Laura Ellen Anderson, author of Amelia Fang
Matt Braly , creator of Disney's Amphibia, proclaims Kitty Quest is 'an absolutely charming story that had me chuckling the whole way through. I couldn't put it down!'
'A hilarious, magical and downright silly story about some paws-itively delightful heroes! Kitty Quest is the purr-fect tale for any reader!' - Brett Bean, creator of the Zoo Patrol Squad series
'Fearless feline heroes! Marauding monsters! Bewitched burritos! With bonkers artwork and snappy storytelling, Kitty Quest has everything young adventurers could ever want!' - Aaron Blecha, co-creator of Dinomighty!
*Simon & Schuster provided me with a review copy of 'Kitty Quest: Trial by Tentacle'.
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