Neko Atsume is a “cat collecting” IOS and Android game that has, quite literally, taken over the world. I defy you to find a child, a teen, a millennial, or an adult that has NOT played or at the very least heard of this phenomenon. You can find these cuddly kitties everywhere! They have their own cafes, their own toys, their own specials places in our hearts. I know I can’t go a day without taking care of mine. And I’m still working on collecting a few of those pesky rare ones!
If Neko Atsume has taken over not only the game and merchandise market, then why not books? I have compiled a list of some of the rare and more special (no offense to you other kitties!) Neko Atsume cats and found a book purr-fect for them.
Snowball – Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
What better place to start then with everyone’s first kitty, Snowball? Snowball is always there for you. He…(she? Personally, I always saw Snowball as a “him”)…is there to play with whatever toys you put out, eat whatever food you give (even if it’s only thrifty bits), and be a constant companion. This novel is also that. I brings the warmth and joy of family and companionship during the holidays, even if you read it during the summer! Also, just like Snowball, all three authors will be there for you with books waiting to take you into their worlds!
Lady Meow-Meow – Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick
Next up we have Lady Meow-Meow, a thinly veiled reference to a very popular icon. Which leads into my book choice. Not only is Lady Meow-Meow, and her namesake, glamorous, she is also in the eyes of many. Just like Lady Meow-Meow, the main character of Gorgeous is in the public eye and often wears costumes that show, but also sometimes hide, the real person inside.
Tubbs – Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Tubbs is easily a favorite rare cat. Tubbs always clears his plate and thanks you liberally with fish. He is happy and content with himself and won’t let anyone change his mind. That’s where Dumplin’ comes in. Main character, Willowdean, is self-confident and won’t let anyone get her down, despite her mother’s nickname. When she starts to lose her assurance, she sets out to find a way to get it back, and shock those that are against her. If you’re ever feeling low, look to Tubbs and Willowdean, they’ll show you to love yourself and be proud of who you are.
Saint Purrtrick – Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater
Saint Purrtrick is a scruffy, no-nonsense, easy going fellow…as long as you have his favorite silk crepe pillow. As long as you have that, it’s not the luck of the Irish that he showed up. In the game he is described as “awe-inspiring”, which goes along with much of Irish culture. Enter Lament. This novel shows the dark side of faeries, we’re not talking Tinkerbell. Faeries in traditional Irish culture are strong, scary, and awe-inspiring. I could see Saint Purrtrick curling up on my lap as I read this…or y’know…on his silk crepe pillow.
Ganache – The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Next up is Ganache, who is described as pragmatic, meaning she thinks things through realistically and is very matter-of-fact. Also, she’s named after chocolate, which is awesome. Not only does Ganache connect to The Chocolate War (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults!) because of their name and title, respectively, but also her similarities to the main character. Ganache and Jerry think the same way: “If I don’t want to do it, why do I have to?” Where Ganache wants to play with her favorite goodie, a toy capsule; Jerry doesn’t want to sell chocolates for the annual school fundraiser. These are two very stick to their guns characters.
Chairman Meow – I am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff
Chairman Meow is ready for battle at a moment’s notice and is described as boorish, meaning that he is unrefined and a little rough around the edges. Inside of that hard outer shell though is a soft spot for his favorite goodie, an earthenware pot. In I am the Weapon the main character, Boy Nobody, is the same way. He goes from place to place, school to school, carrying out missions, but soon he starts wanting more. He wants a home to call his own and belongings to fill it. Both Chairman Meow and Boy Nobody are more than meets the eye.
There are so many other Neko Atsume cats that can fit their own young adult book, I could go on forever! Who is your favorite Neko Atsume cat and what would their YA book be?
— Tegan Anclade, currently reading Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard