The Cat That Made Nothing Something Again is a children's chapter book by new author James D. Maxon. Cute, unique, humorous, and engaging are words I'd use to describe this story about a nameless cat who goes on a quest to recover the moisture that was stolen from his town. Giant sponges have drained the town and the people who live there of all their moisture, leaving them lifeless, talentless, and uncaring. The clever cat had fooled the sponges and was the only thing in the town to not get drained. The people and other animals go through the motions of daily life, but there is no joy and before long the cat becomes bored. Out of a selfish desire to improve his own situation he leaves the town and begins his search for the stolen moisture.
On his journey he learns some important lessons about friendship, caring, and selflessness. I love that this book is lesson-focused but not lesson-y. In other words, it's all a very natural part of the story. The biblical references are subtle as well, such as referring to the "creator of life" and a story about "Samuel" from a very important book. There are also a fair amount of good vocabulary-building words throughout, placed in such a way that their meanings are easy to deduce, and they are usually coupled with something fun.
I read the book to my children, a few chapters at a time over the course of three nights. My son is ten and in fifth grade, but while the book is probably about a third grade reading level the story completely held his attention. He would beg for "just one more chapter....pleeeeease..." He LOVED the silly and wildly unrealistic parts like the talking seed and laughed out loud in places. My eight year old daughter loved the more realistic parts.
I did find a couple of typos, and normally would not point that out in a review. But since this is for children it could make them "stumble" on those spots, or make the adult reading out loud have to reread those sentences. But there are only a couple, maybe three at the most.
I highly recommend this for elementary age children. It makes both a great read-aloud or a chapter book for young readers to read on their own.