This summer my six-year-old daughter and I got to take a sneak peek at a digital advanced review copy of Mr. Puffball: Stunt Cat to the Stars by Constance Lombardo that I received from Above the Treeline. Reading Mr. Puffball together made for many purrrrrrfect afternoons. Yeah, baby!
Mr. Puffball: Stunt Cat to the Stars tells the story of a young feline who dreams of becoming a famous movie star. He travels across the country to Hollywood, takes a side-trip through Hobowood, and finally makes it to Los Angeles. Then … nothing. Becoming a movie star isn’t as easy as Mr. Puffball hoped it would be. Luckily some friendly felines come to his rescue and give Mr. Puffball a total cat makeover. Before he knows it Mr. Puffball is onstage meeting his cinematic hero, El Gato, and that’s when things get really hairy.
I’ve seen chapter books and I’ve seen graphic novels, but I’ve never seen anything like Mr. Puffball. Word-count wise, it seems a lot longer than Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Picture wise, there are way more illustrations than a standard middle grade novel.
I used to teach Kindergarten through fourth grade and to me, Mr. Puffball is at a solid third grade reading level with enough picture clues to make it accessible for younger readers as well as English Language Learners. Older readers will also be engaged, especially by all of the puns. This is one special book!