The Fast and the Furriest
The Fast and the Furriest
Known for her legendary capers, Ophelia von Hairball V was the Furry Feline Burglary Institute’s number-one cat burglar. Other burglars seemed to need (and even want) inventors, but Ophelia took special pride in upholding the classy, time-honored traditions of the FFBI alone. Until Oscar, she’s managed to stay 100-percent inventor-less.
Ophelia von Hairball is a cat burglar whose motto is, “Be the fabulous you want to see in the world.” As the best cat burglar in the world according to the FFBI (Furry Feline Burglary Institute), Ophelia is the cat they call when they have a major crisis. Along with her ingenious fish inventor, Oscar Fishgerald Gold, Ophelia must find an invention which could potentially be fatal to all cats! The powerful laser pointer named Scarlet Claw has been broken up and hidden for years; however, the encrypted map to find the pieces of this secret weapon has recently been stolen from the FFBI vault.
Ophelia is sent to find the pieces of the secret weapon in various locations around the world. It is a difficult and dangerous quest. She realizes, “This is the most epic caper of my career.” (p. 61) Oscar helps her with exciting new inventions and moral support. “Ophelia and Oscar didn’t have much, but they had their brains… and each other. Would that be enough? (p. 136) However, Ophelia’s cousin and arch rival, Pierre von Rascal of Thievesylvania, who is very jealous of her success, will do anything to prevent Ophelia from succeeding. Will the cats of the world survive? Will Ophelia save the day, or will Pierre defeat her once and for all?
Deanna Kent’s The Fast and the Furriest is the second book featuring Ophelia von Hairball , the first being Snazzy Cat Capers. This chapter book for young readers is full of references to exotic locations, such as Las Vegas, Cairo, Vancouver, and New York City. There are also many amusing and cryptic acronyms for readers to enjoy, including: FFBI (Furry Feline Burglary Institute), CCIA (Canine Central Intelligence Agency), MUTTSC (Mini-Ultra-Teeny-Tiny Sticker Cam) and SPIT (Small Portable Inter-water Tank.)
Ophelia’s exploits are packed with fast-paced action and adventure emphasized by the graphic features of the text. There are periodic cartoon-like panels, sometimes without any text at all, adding visual detail to the storyline. There are also illustrations scattered throughout the text, making the book a combination of traditional and graphic novel formats.
The characters are dogs and cats, but they are very “human” in their actions and reactions. Ophelia is a strong, sassy, sarcastic cat burglar, but she also has several prominent flaws, among them over-confidence, vanity and pride. Each chapter begins with one of Ophelia’s amusing and insightful quotations. They are a comic twist on famous sayings such as, “Darling, we cats need nine lives. How else will we have time for all the fun things we were born to do?” or “If someone says you can’t do something, do it twice. And wear a new outfit the second time.”
The “Snazzy Cat Capers” series is both exciting and amusing. The chapters are short, the characters are interesting, and the locations are exotic. Readers should look forward to more books in this series.
Myra Junyk, a literacy advocate and author, lives in Toronto, Ontario.