Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Paws in the Piazza by Jerilyn McIntyre



By April

"Back home, I was content to be just an ordinary house cat.  I didn't get out much.  But it's different here in Venice."

How different?  Harley quickly finds out after his family arrives in Italy.

He takes up with a group of local cats who roam wild in the alleys and neighborhoods of Venice, and meets the mysterious Angela, a beautiful white Angora who steals his heart.  Then he becomes embroiled in a fierce and ongoing war between his friends and a rival band of cats, and discovers the magical order that underlies life in the enchanting and historic city that is his new home.  (taken from the back of the book)

This book is suggested for children aged 10-14.  Each chapter is about two pages and has quite a few words, but they're pretty basic vocabulary.  Slow readers will be able to keep up with this.

Illustrations are done by Ken Shuey.  There are a few black and white throughout the story but the main attraction is the front cover.  It's colorful with a hand drawn child-like quality to it.

Harley is a fascinating character.  He's just kind of wandering around doing his own thing, very laid back.  However, when Harley is needed, he goes into hero status.

This is a very sweet, endearing story told from the perspective of a cat.  Angela is the last of her royal bloodline and there are those that would mean her harm, but Harley won't allow that to happen.  It's beautiful to watch him protect the girl and then receive a happy ever after as his reward.

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