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Leah Ingledew


Author and illustrator Leah Ingledew presents a version of Rome and Juliet for younger readers.

Max is a dog and Mia is a cat, and they are very good friends. They like each other a lot. But in the city of Up, dogs and cats are not allowed to be friends. They are not allowed to meet, or talk or play. Dogs and cats are just too different to get on, or so they say in the city of Up. So Max and Mia decide to meet in secret, and every day at sunrise and sunset they play and have lots of fun. Until one day, they are caught, and a big wall is built to keep them apart. But Max and Mia are not happy to be separated and they run far away from their families and the city of Up. How will the two young friends cope away from the parents? And who will protect them now, when they are all alone and in the wilderness?

This is a sweet and charming picture book, superbly written and illustrated by Ingeldew. It is a story about forbidden love and friendship, and the destructiveness of forced separation. The book is reminiscent of the story of Romeo and Juliet, but for younger children (and with a happier ending!). The more society pushes Max and Mia apart, the more they are driven to stay together. This is a deep and complex story, but told through dog and cat characters it will easily resonate with younger children. It will help children to learn that despite our physical differences, we are all the same, with the same desires to be happy, have fun, and seek friendships and love. It is a timely reminder for us all.

Star Rating: 5 Stars


‘A story about forbidden love and friendship between two feline and canine friends. Superbly written and illustrated by Ingeldew. A FINALIST and highly recommended.’

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