CatNinja and Master Hamster are back to fight crime in Metro City together. Mecha-mecano, the mecha man is back, too, and this time he has a system upgrade to include lots of puns in their battles. Readers will follow along six short stories, as well as a five-part miniseries, making this an attention grabbing ride. The characters are constantly facing new challenges and exciting situations to get themselves out of.
This book is packed with mini stories each done by different authors, illustrators and inkers. They seamlessly keep to the same writing and artistic style, each adding humor and action to every story. This makes it a really easy read, especially for reluctant readers. They can feel a sense of accomplishment as they quickly finish each chapter, most of which are entire short stories. The authors include a lot of humor for adults or older readers who may be reading this book alongside a younger child, such as a chapter titled, “Lyin’, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” A little pun that younger readers wouldn’t catch unless they’re family with C. S. Lewis’s classic series.
It would be a good idea to read the first two books in this series before diving into this third book. There are references to things that have happened in previous books that don’t get explained in this edition. Also, the story goes straight into action without any character development. It’s not confusing, but it certainly would make the story more enjoyable to already understand a bit about the personalities of each individual and their relationships to one another.
Wow! What colorful and fun filled pages this graphic novel has. Full beautiful backgrounds with swirls of blended shades set the mood for each section of this story. Darker hues add more intensity and drama, while brighter reds, yellows and oranges lighten up the more humorous parts. A huge variety of panel arrangements is used throughout, from full page action to every shape of rectangular panel you can imagine. Illustrators, Chad Thomas and Derek Laufman got seriously creative with planning out each page, yet it’s very easy for readers to follow along with the story sequentially.
Overall, this is a silly, and quick read for young readers that they will surely enjoy. This book has a lot of action, humor, and even lessons sprinkled in. There is a focus on the difference you can make in the world whether or not you have superpowers and a great message about working through your differences with others. If you give individuals a chance to change their ways, you can become friends. I’d highly recommend this series for any elementary or middle school library collection.
Cat Ninja, vol. 3: Wanted
By Matthew Cody
Art by Chad Thomas
Andrews McNeel, 2022
Publisher Age Rating: 7-10
Series ISBNs and Order
NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Middle Grade (7-11)