Ngā Ngeru / The Cats of Pāia Street
This book would be a delight for pet lovers and the reading of it is a language-enriching experience. The author is a former teacher and education consultant working in Māori language progression. Available in te reo Māori and Pākehā this book features Brucie (Puruhi), Wolfie (Wuruhi) and Naki, who are pets living on Pāia Street.
Brucie is an extremely posh cat, looks like a movie star but is also a karate expert.
Wolfie is a dog but loves cats and wishes he were a cat, even to the point of crossing out dog bones on his bowl and decorating it with cat prints and pictures of cats. He is good friends with Brucie and together they have some mischievous fun.
When new neighbours move in, curiosity overcomes them and they wander down and meet Naki, a new cat in the street. Naki explains that he’s from the city of Dunedin. Physically he is compared to two beautiful places in the South Island, Pūkākī and Aoraki. When Naki and Brucie spot each other they fall in love.
The text is in rhyming couplets with a rich vocabulary of adjectives, for example Brucie is described as slinky, silky and sleek.
Sarah Illingworth’s illustrations vary from full-colour double-page spread to smaller illustrations that include details which reflect the text. I particularly like the photo frames of the places that Naki had lived in and visited.
Title: Ngā Ngeru / The Cats of Pāia Street
Author: Amiria Stirling
Illustrator: Sarah Illingworth
ISBN: 9781775506690 and 9781775506706
Publication: March 2022
Ages: 4-8 years
Reviewer: by Nova Gibson, Librarian, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
Opening sentence: Tāmaramara mai a tori Puruhi. / Here’s a cat strutting by, and her name is kitty Brucie.
You can buy this book here