Supercat vs. the Fry Thief

illus. by Jim Field. 224p. (Supercat: Bk. 1). HarperCollins. Mar. 2015. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780007585960.
Gr 2–4—All James wants is an exciting pet. On his seventh birthday, he thinks his dreams are about to come true. Instead, he gets Tiger, the world's laziest cat. James tries to make the best of the situation and coax out Tiger's inner superhero. When the feline eats a greasy french fry stuck to a moldy sock, he undergoes a transformation into Supercat, acquiring speech, the ability to read, uncharacteristic strength and stamina, thumbs, and more. When the James and Supercat learn that grubs are responsible for destroying all the potatoes (no more french fries—the horror!), they team up to infiltrate the villain's lair and save the world's potato supply. Interspersed throughout are pen and ink drawings that capture the pair's silly antics and facial expressions. The book manages to be humorous and zany without relying heavily on toilet humor. The rollicking plot will keep even reluctant readers motivated to find out what happens next. The overall design, with a large typeface, ample white space, and in-text illustrations, caters to the transitional chapter book crowd, but some of the vocabulary will be a challenge for newly independent readers. That said, this will be a welcome addition to most library shelves.—Amy Commers, South St. Paul Public Library, MN

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