By: Peggy Krause
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
Publication Date: January 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: August 27, 2010
“Spider Man” wasn’t a very likely name for a husky, orange and black striped cat, but Ruby and Frankie thought so. “Spodoh Man! Spidoh Man! / Does whatevoh a Sidoh can.” And so that is how a chunky cat came to have such an unusual name. Just the sight of Marcy’s two mischievous grandchildren would send Spider Man running and soon he took to sleeping on top of a tall dresser just to make sure he’d be safe from her two “trouble-making grandkittens.” At least he had something to talk about when he and his friends gathered together on Soupy’s porch along with Puff Puff, Lila and Lola. The cats certainly had a lot of things to talk about when those grandkittens were around!
Four-year-old Ruby and Frankie, who was only three, were inseparable. Their grandmother Marcy’s neighbor, Daniel, “felt that children were obnoxious and referred to them as ‘scruffy little crumb-grabbers.’” Spider Man would soon come to agree with him on that one, especially when he heard the “horrible news” that the kids and their parents were moving in because their father had lost his job. MEOW! He’d heard it with his own ears and told his friends that it would be a life of misery having to be “chased and squeezed by screaming scruffy little crumb-grabbers.” Life would never be the same.
Spider Man soon had many tales of woe to relate to his friends, but the most distressing thing of all was that the little crumb-grabbers were never punished for their misdeeds. Frankie pulled him out from under the bed by his ears and later Ruby threw a fully loaded pancake that landed in Frankie’s eye. Puff Puff claimed they were a couple of “little hooligans” and Lola was armed and ready to scratch out their eyes. Things seemed to be going from bad to worse. Ruby streaked naked down the street, Frankie tinkled in the middle of the floor, and then bit Ruby. When Spider Man related to his friends that her skin was “dark purple and it had deep teeth marks all around it,” they were appalled.
The porch crowd was astonished at what Spider Man had to put up with, and Lila finally spoke her mind. “Boy, I hope they move away before you really get hurt or even killed by those criminal human kittens!” It wasn’t long before the cats sensed something else was very wrong, but none of them could figure out quite what it was. They quickly ran to check on their humans as did Spider Man. He noticed that the children had snuck out of their rooms during nap time and were heading for a neighbor’s pool. He was Spider Man, not Superman and he had to think fast. How could a husky, overweight fat cat possibly save Marcy’s grandkittens from drowning?
This is a chapter book for children age seven to eleven. The chapters are short and the story line is fun and exciting, especially when Spider Man has to do some fast thinking to save the children. Some of the wording and/or sayings may be over the heads of many young readers, but the confident reader can either look up words such as ‘emancipation’ to enhance his vocabulary or ask about terms such as 'false modesty.' The plot centers around two overly rambunctious children, Ruby and Frankie, while Spider Man and a passel of porch cats discuss their poor behavior, behavior that goes unpunished. For parents or caretakers who are averse to potty language or baby talk, this book has both. For example, the reader will encounter phrases such as “POO-POO socks.” The Scruffy Little Crumb-Grabbers would actually be an excellent learning tool in the homeschool setting to discuss proper etiquette and address behavioral issues.
Quill says: This is a fun little tale about two rascally little children and a passel of cats who just might have your rascally little crumb-grabbers rolling on the floor with laughter!