REVIEW: Alya and the Three Cats by Amina Hachimi Alaoui, illustrations by Maya Fidawi
The arrival of a new baby seen by three adorable cats
Maryam and Sami have three cats: Pasha the black angora cat—proud as a pasha really!—Minouche the grey tabby cat found in the street and Amir the playful Siamese. One day Maryam’s belly starts to get bigger and something starts to stir in it. Maryam disappears for a few days and comes back home with something that screams and demands a lot of attention. Their three cats are very confused. What’s going on?
I know I coo about how adorable children’s cat books are but this one is simple yet charming. Pasha, Amir and Minouche live with Myriam and her husband Sami. There are flowerpots to weave through, fountains to investigate and soft cushions to sleep on. The cats also like to sleep on Myriam’s lap but lately, something strange is happening. Myriam’s stomach is rising! Then one day Sami and Myriam leave home. The cats wait but when they return, Myriam is carrying something and walks past them. What’s going on? Luckily grandma is there to explain to them and tell them that “to love is to share” before Myriam whispers reassurances. Yes, the heart has enough room for endless love. I wish a bit more time had been spent on this rather than one or two pages. The illustrations are done in a lovely, minimalist style with interesting angles of the household and cute close-ups of the feline stars. The story is a nice way to introduce a younger sibling while making sure older ones know that their place is not being usurped. B-