The Cats of Paia Street
In this book we are introduced to charismatic cat Brucie and her friends who live on Paia Street.
The book is divided into three parts, each describing a different character, the first being Brucie, the second her friend the dog, Wolfie and the third, love interest Naki.
There are clear bold double page illustrations of the three main characters throughout the book with great use of colour to attract the reader’s interest and which feature many more cats in the background together with details of their everyday lives. The text that accompanies the illustrations is in rhyming format, and although written for younger readers, it contains some good descriptive words to build up vocabulary.
The humanising of the animals would definitely appeal to young readers’ imagination as we see Brucie dressed up in clothes and jewellery wearing make-up and drinking milk out of glass, and other cats are pictured riding a bike, playing a guitar and wearing sun-glasses.
I found the text a little awkward, sometimes struggling to find a rhythm or a rhyme, and I would have liked to see a little more plot, but overall I think preschoolers would like the book for the imaginative illustrations.
Title: The Cats of Paia Street
Author: Amiria Stirling
Illustrator: Sarah Illingworth
Publisher: Huia Books
Date of Pub: 2022
Reviewer: Anabel McPhee, Librarian, The Catlins Area School, South Otago
Recommend? Recommended (with reservations)
Opening stanza: “Here’s a cat strutting by, and her name is kitty Brucie
She is slinky, She is silky, but her tail’s a bushy wolfie’s”
You can buy this book here.