The Tales of Mrs Mancini by Natalie Jane Prior, and illustrated by Cheryl Orsini (ABC Books) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN 978-0-733335-65-5
Reviewed by Karen Hendriks
The Tales of Mrs Mancini’s Cat tells the story of a cat which runs a gorgeous cake shop full of yummy treats, with her friend Filippina. Alongside her passion for creating cakes, Mrs Mancini loves her customers and knows them well. She can sense when something is wrong and her watchful eyes don’t miss a thing. With some tail magic Mrs Mancini helps her friends in some unexpected ways.
This little book is a collection of three fully illustrated short stories that intertwine through Mrs Mancini and the cake shop. The stories would suit the ages 4+ years. They are based around the themes of friendship and loneliness. A younger child will enjoy being read the stories that have names that roll off the tongue, like Mrs Mancini, Filippina and Claudette.
Mrs Mancini is a wise and clever cat that uses just a little magic to help solve friendship problems. You just feel like giving Mrs Mancini a big cuddle.
Older children will love the support of the illustrations and the fact that the tales are three stories in one book that connect. The illustrations are delightful, with soft colours that feel safe and friendly, and have an innocent appeal. The pictures support the text beautifully, just like best friends. The pastel colours remind me of delicious cake treats and Europe.
Children need to know that their problems can be solved and that they are not alone. This little book shows simple solutions to friendship problems, loneliness and bullying. It is recommended for its educational value, too.