I was kindly sent a free copy of this book by the publisher Walker books for a review. This is one of my most favourite children’s book I’ve ever read, here is my review.
Diva, a small dog, lives in an apartment building with a small gated courtyard. Flea, a cat, lives on the streets of Paris. Their worlds couldn’t be more different, but when they happen to meet they develop a friendship and explore each other’s worlds.
This is such a lovely book. Reminiscent of Lady and the Tramp, this story just has a good feeling about it. The first chapter introduces the characters, Diva a small dog lives in an apartment building along with the gardienne of the building. Every day Diva goes out and explores the courtyard. Flea is a streetwise can who also happens to be a flâneur, a someone or somecat who wanders the streets, bridges and alleyways of a city just to see what there is to see. One day Flea stops by Diva’s apartment building and after that they explore each other’s worlds.
The story is well written and despite the use of a few French words you do understand what they mean as they are described so no problems for kids not understanding. The story is both cute and funny with Diva afraid to step out of her world and Flea the same. There are funny descriptions of some basic things such as people drinking Cough-Fee (instead of coffee) and other funnier ones. It really shows the world from the animals perspective which just lends to the charm.
The illustrations are what make this book so wonderful. There are lots of illustrations, many pages feature text on one side with a picture on the other, there’s even a couple of double page spreads. All the pictures look like the one on the cover and it just has a slightly old-fashioned feel to it while at the same time being very sweet. There’s a little text from the authors at the end of the book and reading this you learn how this book has been inspired by real animals!
I think this book would appeal to a lot of adults as well as kids, the story is really lovely and has a great ending and the illustrations are just so beautiful and detailed that anyone especially an animal lover would find them cute. It certainly reminds me of books I had when I was a child and it’s become one of my favourites. A lovely heartwarming book I can recommend.
For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. For as long as he could remember, Flea also lived in Paris, France – but at no fixed address. When Flea flaneurs past Diva’s courtyard one day, their lives are for ever changed. Together, Diva and Flea explore and share their very different worlds, as only true friends can do.