I confess I expected dogs when I eagerly signed up to review THE PAWED PIPER, written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Chinlun Lee, but was utterly charmed by this cat-centric picture book. Written in the first person, Robinson never reveals the name of the young girl who hatches an irresistible plan to get a purry, furry, warm, soft, and cuddly kitty of her own. Only Hector, Granny’s beloved black and white cat, is named. I particularly got a kick out of Hector sprawled across a newspaper, as my father’s cat used to help him read all the time.
The title and storyline are both reminiscent of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, with this narrator possessing an uncanny ability to lure felines instead of rats or children. In truth, the young girl desires a single cat to call her own, but ends up attracting a plethora of delightfully expressive and unique feline friends. I adore the double-page spread where the cats have commandeered every conceivable spot in the family room and are so poetically described. My favorite felines, both in language and illustration, are the grumpy cats with scowling faces!
Will our young narrator keep any or all of the cats? Even after she sees LOST CAT posters plastered all around town? You’ll need to read THE PAWED PIPER to discover the surprising and delightful ending.
Michelle Robinson (who lives in England) is the author of multiple picture books, including There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes and How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth. Click here to access her website
Chinlun Lee (who lives in Taiwan) also illustrated Totally Wonderful Miss Plumberry and is the author-illustrator of Her One Hundred Dogs and more.