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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Kitsy Bitsy’s Noisy Neighbours by Polly Faber, illustrated by Melissa Crowton

When I was a little girl, growing up in small town Aotearoa, I would’ve looked upon a book like this with a sense of wonder: the setting is a multi-storey apartment building, in which our eponymous feline hero lives.

Nowadays, homes built on top of each other are a reality for an increasing number of Kiwi kids, so a book like this will actually be relatable.

As the title suggests, the neighbours in the apartment don’t seem to realise the din from their various activities - singing, skipping, DIY and so on - is reverberating around the building. Tempers flare, culminating in a bit of biffo up on the roof! Fed-up with their fighting, Kitsy Bitsy decides to intervene… will she be able to teach the rowdy bunch how to respect each other?

The bright, colourful illustrative style is engaging and almost certainly a nod to Richard Scarry, with animals bustling about and driving wacky vehicles in a city not unlike Busytown. The author clearly had fun with the rhyming text, and gifted the animal neighbours fun, sing-song names: Honky Tonk, Hunky Dory, Rocky Locky, Tippy Toes. All-in-all, a lovely, light-hearted morality tale.

Reviewer: Stacey Anyan

Allen & Unwin

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