Book review: ‘Nala’s World’

Nala’s World
Dean Nicholson
Hachette Children’s Group

Nala's World front cover

NEARLY everyone with internet access has likely heard the adorable story of how Dunbar-born Dean Nicholson discovered and adopted the adorably bedraggled kitten on his world cycle route from Montenegro to Bosnia.

Adults interested in Dean and Nala’s story can follow them on their various social media channels or read about their adventures in their 2021 travel memoir. However, those with much smaller vocabularies but bigger imaginations can now also view their story in an illustrated children’s book, Nala’s World: One Little Cat’s Quest for Love and Adventure, written by Dean and illustrated by renowned children’s illustrator Frann Preston-Gannon.

Dean and Nala’s story is heart-warming on its own, but the children’s book does a fabulous job of capturing all the precious moments from discovery to rescue to Nala’s view of the world from the front of Dean’s bicycle.

It’s a straight-forward story, relayed as a tale rather than a verse, so parents don’t have to worry about reading tongue-twisters or long unruly prose that leaves them out of breath.

Both adults and children will learn about what to do if you discover a stray, and the realities of getting a pet passport. And, at the back, there are real-life photograph to compare the tale to the real story – much to my niece’s delight.

Praise must be given to Preston-Gannon, who wonderfully illustrated the story with eye-catching colours and textures that captures the two protagonists, the vivid background and international setting, along with her own details that give the story flare – like Nala’s yellow jumper.

This is a wonderful story for guardians and children to enjoy, inspiring children to develop their sense of empathy and explore the wider world. After reading this book to your children, you can keep up with Dean and Nala’s adventures by following @1bike1world.

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s book pages.

Plus, don’t miss more book reviews in the February issue of Scottish Field magazine.