This is the first in a series of books starring Marshmallow Pie and his human, Amelia Lime. I’m more of a dog person myself but you don’t need to be a cat-lover to enjoy this delightful read.
Meet the fanciest of cats…Marshmallow Marmaduke Vanilla-Bean Sugar-Pie Fluffington-Fitz-Noodle, who from now on will be referred to as Pie. Pie has had to say goodbye to his luxurious life in a country house and now finds himself residing in a small city apartment with his human owner, Amelia Lime, and her dad. He enjoys the easy life, mainly sunning himself on the balcony, eating yellow coloured shrimp treats and annoying his nemesis, Buster the dog, who lives in the flat below. When Amelia picks up a flyer advertising auditions for pets she sees the perfect opportunity to make Pie a star. Whether Pie can make it as a superstar though will depend on a successful audition, and when Buster turns up on set events unfold that put Pie in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons…
Books about animals, particularly cats, are always going to be popular with young readers as they are so relatable. The story of how Pie goes from a pampered life at home to superstar with one or two hiccups along the way is a sweet story from start to finish that really embraces the joy that a pet can bring and showcases the love and bond between animals and their owners.
I love that the story is told from the perspective of Pie, a cat with lots of confidence and a big ego. His personality and his slightly snobby demeanour bounces off the pages as he tells his story and provides funny insights into the life of a cat. His nature is contrasted nicely against Amelia who is shy and nervy, but having Pie around always makes her feel better and he knows just what needs to be done to cheer her up and to make her happy. What the two do share in common is that they are kind, caring and compassionate - all lovely messages for young readers.
An ideal read for newly independent readers with its short chapters and frequent black and white illustrations that help convey the action and are filled with humour and warmth. I particularly love the map of the flat, complete with funny annotations, that Pie lives in that is presented over a double page at the front of the book.
A read that will definitely appeal to young animal-lovers and who knows, perhaps your pet may be destined for stardom too.
Recommended for 7+.