Friday, December 13, 2013

Vacation Hiro Stars Daddy's Girl, Hiro, in New Adventure by Meg Welch Dendler!

Many of you have already read the first book in this series, but, just in case you haven't, Check out my review and if you have children who love cats...and adventure... Consider both for cool Christmas stocking stuffers!
...Hiro couldn't possible sleep. She was tired and crabby and
worried and lonely...And thirsty. Hiro refused to share the
water dish in the kitchen near the cat food. Drinking that
stale water after other cats had their tongues in it was yukky,
and she would have nothing to do with it...Going into the kitchen
also meant venturing into Miss Fatty Cat's territory. Hiro avoided
dealing with that cranky, fat cat as much as she possible could...

Vacation Hiro:
Cats in the Mirror

By Meg Welch Dendler

Second Book in Award-Winning Series

Soooo, you're probably wondering why I'm starting this review with a picture of Hiro and her Daddy... Well, it's very simple. Daddy left Hiro allllll alone and she was very frustrated not knowing where her Daddy was--in fact, she was quite scared! You see Daddy had tried to explain to Hiro that he and his family were going on vacation. But though he kept on talking, telling her where they'd be and how long they'd be gone...well, when Hiro is safely in Daddy's presence, she's often snoozin' or cruisin' just being happy Daddy's around...

The house had been dark for hours and still no one came.
The yard was quiet. The Beast had not returned since he
got in the car that morning with the family and all of
those bags full of clothes.
But Hiro knew, if she just waited patiently enough,
Daddy would come home soon. He always came home to
Daddy will come home soon, she thought. Daddy would
never leave me alone.
How could he forget to give me water?
She wondered sadly...
Positioning herself carefully so she
could see the doorway and be reading
for an attack, Hiro crunched and
munched happily...Full and content,
Hiro strode happily out of the
laundry room.
Miss Fatty Cat landed her full and
extensive weight on top of Hiro's head.
Then, with a satisfied snort, the fat
cat stalked back up the stairs.
Hiro, now flat on the floor, sighed.
She had let her guard down...and
taken the pounce she should have
seen coming...
So when she woke up one morning and they had lots of bags being carried out to the car, she was totally surprised! What would she do without Daddy? He made sure that she had her own food, fresh water, and even a separate litter box...Who would protect her from Miss Fatty Cat (Samantha)? She'd tromped on her every chance she got!

Now, actually, they weren't alone all the time because their Grandma came over to visit and take care of their needs, but that didn't reduce the trauma for Hiro...and she always hid under their bed!

Actually, Miss Fatty Cat had provided some news, quickly telling them that their parents would be gone for a long time--that they had done it before, it was called going on a vacation. But for Hiro and Kimba, this was the first time they'd been left alone. Now, if you read book one, you probably know that Kimba is much more self-sufficient and adventuresome. So being alone didn't bother her so much. But, with Hiro's help, they had both decided after that last scare that they weren't going to have anything more to do with the cats in the mirror!

She decided that risking the slight chance of
being seen in the mirror was better than the
icky communal water dish and dealing with
Miss Fatty Cat. Hiro tiptoed quietly to the
bathroom door. She could see the mirror from
there. Can anyone see me? she wondered.
After gathering her courage, Hiro slunk
rapidly across the open expanse of bathroom
tile. She leapt into the large bathtub that she
and Kimba used to call their nursery and
hunkered down along the side...Now she
hoped those walls would hide her from
whoever might be watching through the
After a few minutes of quiet, Hiro felt
confident that she was alone. She snuck over
to the big, silver faucet and reached up high
to sniff at the mesh on the underside of it.
With one paw hooked over the top of the
faucet, she could just balance carefully
enough to lick a few droplets of water with
her rough tongue.
"Greetings, Hiro."
The deep voice echoed through the bathroom.
Hiro froze in fear...
But now, even though Grandma had taken care of her supplies in the bathroom, Hiro had never had to go in alone--Daddy! Where are YOU?! Some of you may know that there are strange cats in the bathroom...and that's who got them into trouble in the first book! But now, Hiro didn't have a choice, she had to go in any time she needed a drink...or other needs! 

As time went by, however, Hiro knew she would have to go into the bathroom. And worked up the courage to do it! Soon she was even talking to the cat, Artemis, who appeared in the mirror. She did tell Kimba what was happening although initially she was keeping it a secret because of their promise to each other...... And Guess What? Their mother came to visit!

They learned much about their history and, finally realized for the first time, that they were born into a royal family and that their birth mother held a very important position in that government...

I'm not going to tell you anymore, except that Hiro and Kimba both went on a vacation too! 

I have to tell you though, that I was disappointed... I kept repeating "Beam me Up Kimba; Beam me up Hiro" but neither paid any attention! This Trekkie fan was upset...for a little while... But, I loved how the book finished--that Hiro had to rush home because Daddy was demanding that Grandma made sure that she actually saw Hiro, or he was packing up and they were coming home! Well, Hero did make contact with Grandma, but you can be sure that by the time the family came home. Hiro immediately let Daddy know he was upset!
But then Daddy went out and came back with presents, reminding everybody that it was Hiro and Kimba's birthday! "Hiro blinked up at Daddy. She didn't like leaping around in front of the whole family. She preferred private time to hide under the bed...We can play together later, when we are alone, she thought... Hiro leaned in close and rubbed the top of her head against Daddy's furry face. He gave her kisses on the flat part between her ears. Then Daddy sighed, put up the foot rest on the sofa, and turned on the TV."

You know for cat lovers, whether the book is written for children, young adults, or adults, like my mystery cat series, we usually love them, especially this one that had a special Star Trek flavor for those that enjoy space adventures! I personally enjoyed this one more than the first simply because of Hiro's personality. Cats do have personalities and Hiro being shy and timid and scared without Daddy (and Daddy's role in return) was so well written that, of course, it brought tears to my eyes... I've had that special link with a couple of my past cats--it's unique and only happens when a cat has chosen you to be someone special in their life! Kudos to the author for how well she is able to represent the feline species! LOL Quite appropriate for the age group and highly recommended.


Meg Welch Dendler is an award-winning author and a former pre-k, elementary, and middle school teacher who celebrated publishing her first book, “Why Kimba Saved The World,” on February 23, 2013. This story is based on her true-life crazy cat and the other cats in her home…and the idea that they are all really part of an alien race that wants to rule the earth. In October of 2013, “Why Kimba Saved The World” was honored with a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award as “Best First Book — Chapter Book,” Bronze Medal. The sequel, “Vacation Hiro,” is out now.

For over 10 years, Meg worked as a freelance writer, including a year as a columnist for, where she wrote movie commentaries and interviews. She has had over 100 articles published in newspapers, magazines, and on web sites and has had the chance to interview Sylvester Stallone, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kirk Douglas, as well as Anita Roddick and the Archbishop of Cape Town. She is a huge movie fan and prefers watching a new movie over most of what is on television.

A supporter of Character Education, Meg served as a teacher and community trainer for CHARACTER COUNTS! and has spoken about the integration of literature in character education programs at MiAEYC conferences and for the Arkansas Association of School Librarians. Meg is a proud member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

In the near future, Meg is looking forward to publishing a very different book, “At The Corner of Magnetic and Main.” Set where she lives in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, this story follows several people no-longer living on this plane of existence but still stuck here (aka, ghosts) as they figure out what is holding them here and what is next in their lives. She is also hoping to publish a picture book she has been working on since 5th grade, “The Brave, Frail, and Delicate Princess,” and a YA and teen-focused biography of her hero, actress and philanthropist Betty White. The 3rd book in the Cats in the Mirror series, “Miss Fatty Cat’s Revenge,” is also in the works.

A Texas native, Meg grew up in the mid-west area of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and then moved to the Metro Detroit suburbs when she was 13. She earned her undergraduate degree in Public Relations at Eastern Michigan University and returned to school there to earn her teaching certification and Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. After decades in Michigan, she and her family moved to Houston, Texas, in 2005. Making a total life and career change, in 2012 they bought seven acres of Ozark mountain paradise, opened a rental guest house business, and focused on allowing Meg time to write and publish. She loves the opportunity to perform wedding ceremonies in their pavilion and be a part of special events for families from all over the United States–as well as getting her books into your hands.

A trained and experienced public speaker, Meg would love to visit your school or book store to share “Why Kimba Saved The World,” have a read-aloud session, and promote reading and literacy for elementary school children. Call Serenity Mountain Publishing at 479-363-6017 to chat or send Meg an email at
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