These are the first in a new series by UK children’s writer and illustrator Clara Vulliamy, featuring a fluffy cat called Marshmallow Pie and his owner Amelia Lime.
Aimed at early independent readers, these are chapter books with simple storylines, relatable settings and plenty of humour.
The books are narrated by Marshmallow Pie himself and this is where much of the humour comes in, because as cats tend to do, he takes a rather one-sided and egocentric view of his world. His human, Amelia, lives with her dad in a small apartment and is shy, but dotes on her fluffy cat. When she suggests that Marshmallow Pie auditions for TV and movie roles, he is very reluctant at first, but soon comes to enjoy the limelight, though not before mishaps and escapades provide some good laughs for the reader.
Children will enjoy the mismatch between the cat’s view of events and how they are portrayed in the charming black and white illustrations on each page. I also enjoyed the way in which even the supremely self-centred kitty had small moments of enlightenment about how to be a good friend.
These are sweet stories of friendship, family, and the joy that pets can bring, in bite-sized books perfect for ages seven and up.
Marshmallow Pie: The Cat Superstar and Marshmallow Pie: The Cat Superstar on TV are published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in August 2020.
My thanks to the publishers for copies to review.