Friday, March 6, 2020

Review - Alya and the Three Cats

Alya and the Three Cats
by Amina Hachimi Alaoui
illustrated by Maya Fidawi
Date: 2020
Publisher: CrackBoom! Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

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?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a strange picture book that suffers from a weak translation and a confusing title.

Do you have cats who are upset about the impending arrival of a human baby? If so, then this is the book for you. Get it and read it to your cats.

In all seriousness, I get that this is supposed to be for older siblings, but it reads more like something for the cats rather than something about them. As for the translation, there are a few areas that could use some work. At one point, it's stated that the cats are treated like princes... so you'd assume they're all male. Nope. Minouche is female. (The word "royalty" probably would've worked better there.) Pasha is described as looking "like a real pasha". I'm sorry, but that's not an English word, and I have no idea what it means! Also, the title is pretty misleading. Alya is the baby, and she barely even makes an appearance. It would've made more sense to call the book Myriam and the Three Cats since Myriam is the one the cats have all bonded with and whose growing belly is freaking the cats out.

The pictures are cute, I guess. The book obviously takes places somewhere other than North America (North Africa or the Middle East would be my guess), and this is reflected in the illustrations. It's always nice to see different cultures reflected in the pictures.

Overall, though, I found this one really underwhelming. But cat lovers might enjoy it more than I did.

Thank you to NetGalley and CrackBoom! Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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