I found a couple of Amazon gift certificates that hadn't been spent, so, rather than do the practical thing and buy groceries, I got each of the kids one new book of their own to supplement the steady diet of library books one summer. Pete's book was the latest book featuring her favorite Siamese kitten: Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice, by Judy Schachner.::: About the Cat :::Skippyjon Jones, for the uninitiated, is a Siamese kitten who lives with his mother and three sisters. Skippyjon has an overactive imagination that nearly always results in him getting in trouble after he's had some adventure in his closet. In Skippyjon's closet, you see, he turns into Skippito Friskito, a sort of superhero chihuahua.In Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice, Skippyjon meets up with his band of chihuahua friends, Los Chimichangos, on the planet Mars. In Skippyjon's fantasy, Mars is the red planet because it's covered in red spice: muy caliente. While on Mars, Skippyjon and the Chimichangos run into Martians (naturally) who try to take Skippyjon's sock monkey.Of course, this entire adventure is really Skippyjon fantasizing after dumping his mother's red spices all over his bed, but that's for his Mama Junebug Jones to ferret out.::: Why We Love Skippyjon :::From the first Skippyjon book I got her nearly three years before, Pete has loved this little cat. It could be because he's mischievous and gets into trouble by spending a little too much time in his pretend world just like she does. It could be because he's small like she is. Or, it could be because these books are just so darn fun to read.Recommended for ages four through eight, I can tell you that when I'm reading a Skippyjon book to Pete, usually most, if not all, of my kids come running. The text is engaging, and the Spanish insertions are easy enough to understand while still sounding exotic to young ears. Add in a few voices and singing along with the sections that can be sung to the tune of the Mexican Hat Dance and you have kids in the palm of your hand listening.The illustrations are bright and include tons of details; the discerning reader can spot pictures hanging on Skippyjon's bedroom walls that show the "Martians" he meets up with in his closet as well. Pete loves poring over the pictures in between reads, looking for clues that might tell her what Skippyjon was really doing.Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice comes with a CD that's an audiobook of the story, with the author reading it, but we really don't get much use out of it; Pete prefers having mama read it to her, and with this book, I'm only too happy to oblige.