Review: Kung Fu Kitty

Posted on November 16, 2009

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Kung Fu Kitty
By Lauri Bortz
Illustrated by Marianne Nowottny
Abaton Book Company 
September 2009
112 pages

In the Monkey Kingdom, all cats live as slaves of the monkeys. Wu Zhua was born with five claws into a family of six-clawed cats. The Monkey King denounces her and demands she be drowned. Her mother, Ma Mao cannot bear to see her special kitten destroyed. With the help of Zhi Shui Zhi Shen, the Water God, she sends Wu Zhua upriver to live with the exiled Monkey Princess Shuang Wei who was banished for her own particular deformity. Wu Zhua and Shuang Wei live together like sisters for many years until one day the Monkey King becomes ill. Shuang Wei is called upon to fulfill her duties as Heir to the throne.

The sudden calling thrusts Wu Zhua and Shuang Wei back into the Monkey Kingdom where monkeys and cats are not friends. They are master and slave and Wu Zhua’s master is the Princess. Wu Zhua learns the truth about her past and the plight of the oppressed cats and kittens. Zhi Shui Zhi Shen makes an unusual return appearance and shows Wu Zhua the path to her destiny. Must Wu Zhua go to war with Shuang Wei in order to liberate the cat kingdom?

Based on the story of Exodus, Kung Fu Kitty illuminates a different way to achieve courage and strength. Bortz has created a mystical tale – in more ways than one – of self-discovery and friendship. Wu Zhua will pounce into the hearts of readers. Nowottny’s black and white drawings add just the right amount of Chinese flavor to spice this up into an original and appealing graphic novel.
 
As an added bonus, this book comes with a DVD. The video presentation of the story is narrated by Lauri Bortz. It stars four talented live cats, a horde of mischievous stuffed monkeys, and eye-popping special effects. Altogether this makes a uniquely charming package.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Peggy Tibbetts

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