My Books…

Dancing Paws of Magic…

“This children’s book is a delight! How can I get front row tickets?”oliver-crumble-by-maria-mcardle
– Francesca Watson, The Cat

Deep in the countryside near Plucker’s Bottom stands Pluckerslea Hall, an English stately home dating back to the thirteenth century. Visiting furless folk are unaware of the secret tunnels that run beneath, and the music rooms, dormitories, dance studios and theatre fitted out for occupants of a much smaller stature.

The occupants are cats! Cats wearing tights, tutus, make-up and wigs, and cats performing in ballets like Coppelia and Swan Lake. But when a beautiful gypsy cat warns of impending doom and trouble comes from the ruthless Bruiser Bumfluff, his fiendish crows and the cut-throat Black Treacle Farm Gang, the cats stop dancing, leaving their ballet master, Erico Poochetti the Shih Tzu, in tears. The future looks bleak for the Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company as an evil being plots revenge, lurking in the shadows and watching their every move.

Can the ghostly presence of a magical Irish Lepremogg restore the cats’ amazing dancing paws of magic?

Inspired by the books of Pamela Brown, Noel Streatfield and Gladys Malvern, the second book in Maria McArdle’s Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company series tells of a friendship between animals that would otherwise be enemies and their fears and determination to preserve their magical way of life.

Dancing Paws of Magic contains a number of Maria’s own beautiful illustrations and will be enjoyed by children aged 9-11 years with a love of dancing, theatre and cats, as well as fans of her first book, Introducing the Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company.

Book News

On Wednesday 29th May, I was back at ‘A Bundle of Books’ children’s bookshop in Herne Bay, Kent for a ‘How to’ workshop on the bookuse of illustrating with watercolour pencils. Great fun was had by children, mums, grandmas and me and some really nice pictures were produced and several copies of Introducing the Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company were signed and passed on to their new young readers.

On Saturday 4th May, at  ‘A Bundle of Books’ 6 Bank St Herne Bay Kent, I told children about my own youthful ballet
experiences, the animals who have inspired the characters for my story, explained with the aid of original sketches and finished watercolours how the illustrations were developed,read extracts and was delighted to sign copies for those who purchased my book.

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Introducing the Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Companyintroducing-the-pusska-moggyinsky-ballet-company

‘Sounds weird? A load of cats dancing?’ Marmie gives a purring chuckle, a sudden spring into the air, a high capriole, a grand jeté and an even broader grin, before trotting off across the dewy grass. Pirouetting through the primroses, he gives a deep and satisfied ‘Me-wow!’

Welcome to the Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company, held in the secret cellars of Pluckerslea Hall, an English stately home with a ghostly reputation! Here, in a flurry of fur and feathers, a whole world of music and dancing exists…

Marmie tells of his great grandmother who founded the company and introduces its main characters – prima ballerina Pusskarina Pavlova, a dainty white cat who is completely deaf – which doesn’t stop her from dancing major roles in the ballets. Character dancer Oliver Crumble is a plump ginger tom with a leaky problem, ably assisted by Ratchett Rat and ‘The Commode’, a luxury litter box on wheels. Maestro Erico Poochetti, a shy Shih-Tzu, has the important position of ballet master, while German Shepherd Gemma McBone is conductor of the cats, dogs, birds and mice who play in the Moggyinsky Musical Ensemble. Willamena Wallaby, an Aussie with attitude, is cook and canteen manager, while Madam Carman Coiffure of millinery and make-up is an eccentric duck with a passion for plumes. Marmie explains how the animals get food, heat, light and materials, and tells with a shudder of Black Treacle Farm, where the notorious Bruiser Bumfluff and his gang of cut-throat cats hang out.

This delightful tale, complete with intricate, full-colour illustrations, is suitable for 8-12 year old children – especially animal lovers!

Buy the book today directly from me which can be signed by me personally, just click on the button below…