The Catnip Diaries
by Eileen Novotny

"I could have pur-r-r-r-ed forever if it meant getting out of that prison."

What if you could see the world through the eyes of a beloved pet as they grow and take on the challenges that life brings? Novotny endears Sparkles to the reader, chronicling the kitten's adventures, mischief (and sometimes mayhem) during the first year of his life. The Catnip Diaries is a fast, fun, and charming read. Sparkles is sassy, inquisitive, and playful. The world through his eyes is magical and meant to be discovered (which could also be interpreted as "getting into everything."

Novotny does a wonderful job of capturing Sparkle's personality from the adorable cover, to the font and wording used, to the tales within. The reader gets a taste of this on the first page when Sparkles meets his future owner, Mommie. She is initially adamant about adopting an adult female cat, but he steals her heart by purring the loudest. The reader can't help but laugh and sigh as Sparkles goes on one adventure after another—whether that be falling asleep in the dryer, getting chased by a snake, dating an outdoor cat, making friends with a goat and dog, or discovering his love for the color red.

Like Mommie, the reader can't stay mad with Sparkles when he gets tempted by all the wonders of his surrounding environment. The author blends Sparkle's sassiness and love for Mommie without it being cruel or overly sweet. He laughs when Mommie doesn't know where his real hidey-holes are, or questions human phrases that he can't possibly understand. There isn't an overarching plot. The stories, however, are original and delightful, easy to pick up and read in short bursts. The Catnip Diaries is perfect for those who enjoy animal stories or have pets of their own.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home