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  • Published: 3 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143775850
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $17.99

The Adventures of Mittens

Wellington's Famous Purr-sonality

Meet Mittens, Wellington's world-famous cat-about-town. He has thousands of followers, a hit song, an exhibition of fan art, and with his exploring paws he brings joy to everyone he meets!

Join Mittens, Wellington's pawsome celebrity cat, on his real-life adventures in this feline-fabulous picture book by Silvio Bruinsma and Phoebe Morris.

Have you met Mittens? If not, it's only a matter of time.

Mittens is the most famous cat ever to parade the streets of Wellington with his noble nose and fabulously fluffy tail in the air. Mittens is on a mission to leave no corner of the CBD unexplored, no passerby unsmooched, no business, school or residence uninspected. He naps in shop windows, hails cars, crosses busy roads on the green light and, like any self-respecting cat, he lives for attention - but only when he's in the mood for it.

The Turkish Angora caught the the attention of the world when, just by being his inquisitive and charming self, his antics cheered up Wellingtonians during the 2020 lockdown. Wellington's mayor awarded Mittens a Key to the City and HRF (His Royal Floofiness) was even nominated for New Zealander of the Year!

Read all about Mittens' adventures around the capital city in this delightful rhyming story by Silvio Bruinsma, Mittens's guardian, with exuberant illustrations by the acclaimed illustrator and hippest of Wellingtonians, Phoebe Morris.

  • Published: 3 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143775850
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $17.99

About the authors

Silvio Bruinsma

Silvio Bruinsma could never have imagined the path he had stepped onto when he convinced his wife to adopt a cheeky and playful Turkish angora kitten. Mittens’ penchant for exploring soon emerged, and Silvio realised that being his guardian would be more adventurous than expected.

When the Bruinsmas moved to a home on The Terrace in Central Wellington, Mittens’ habitual wanderings suddenly gained a high profile as the friendly, ever-curious cat strode into homes, apartments, office buildings and stores, smooching up to numerous passersby in the CBD.

A fellow pet-lover who worked at the local SPCA set up a Facebook page, ‘The Wondrous Adventures of Mittens’, so that people who met him would know he was a cared-for family cat and have any of their concerns allayed, as well as offering Mittens fans a space to share selfies and stories with the community. This Facebook page now has more than 67,000 members from all around New Zealand and the globe.

Silvio, an accountant with a special interest in working with not-for-profit organisations, is now using his skills to ensure that Mittens' immense popularity is giving back to the community that loves him. He’s collaborated with the Museum of Wellington on a ‘Floofy and Famous’ exhibition of Mittens fan art produced during New Zealand's pandemic lockdown in 2020. Proceeds from Mittens merchandise has raised funds for the local SPCA’s new kitten enrichment facility, while funds from Mittens' number-one hit song are donated to New Zealand’s Mental Health Foundation. Silvio has produced The Adventures of Mittens for fans and cat-lovers of all ages.

Reflecting on the amazing rise to fame of his family pet, and the wild ride the family has been taken on as a result, Silvio says Mittens has showed him the vital role that animals can play in people’s mental health.

Besides acting as Mittens’ talent agent and gig manager, and fielding calls from all over the world for interviews, Silvio is a partner at Deloitte NZ and, with his wife Sarah, parents a son and daughter, Roelf and Lillian.

Phoebe Morris

Phoebe Morris has been drawing for herself since 1996, and for other people since 2013. From a small studio in Wellington, she has collaborated with acclaimed author David Hill on award-winning picture book biographies of famous New Zealanders for Penguin Random House New Zealand: Sir Edmund Hillary (First to the Top, 2015), Burt Munro (Speed King, 2016), Jean Batten (Sky High, 2017), Sir Peter Blake (Hero of the Sea, 2018), Joan Wiffen (Dinosaur Hunter, 2019) and Jacinda Ardern (Taking the Lead, 2020).

Phoebe is also the illustrator of the Frankie Potts junior fiction series by Juliet Jacka.

In 2021 Phoebe illustrated The Adventures of Mittens by Silvio Bruinsma, following the adventures of Wellington's most famous exploring ginger cat.

Unanimously praised for the quality of the illustrations, First to the Top was named a 2016 Storylines Notable Picture Book. In a review for the New Zealand Listener, Ann Packer wrote 'Wellingtonian Phoebe Morris makes a stunning debut as an illustrator ... from the arresting cover, through cameos of his younger life, to haunting, other-worldly mountainscapes, Morris's style gives the old story a cool new edge.'

In 2018 Phoebe was shortlisted for the Russell Clark Award for Illustration in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Though much of her work focuses on narrative storytelling, Phoebe also creates illustrations for apps, websites, editorials, animation and interior design. Find out more about her work at phoebemorriscreative.com

Praise for The Adventures of Mittens

Written by Mitten’s hooman Silvio Bruinsma, and illustrated by the always amazing Phoebe Morris, it tells the tale of a day in the life of Mittens as he wanders around Wellington, spreading, literally, the warmest of warm fuzzies. It’s a simple, sweet rhyming story that flows effortlessly. I really appreciated the quality feel of this publication, the exceptionally rendered illustrations take you on a lovely mini tour of Wellington CBD and are warm and vibrant thanks to Wellingtonian Phoebe’s endearing style. The book is a good match for junior readers, especially animal lovers. It would be perfect for a read aloud too. It captures the power of how animals can benefit wellbeing and also has a page at the end of the book further explaining his home life and social impact. Highly recommended!

Mini Prasad, Magpies

Wellington’s favourite feline-focused picture book, entrancing children and adults both.

Unity Books Bestseller Chart, The Spinoff

The book is fun to read because the words rhyme and the pictures are really big, bright and happy. I also like the feel of the paper. I also like that he has been given the name of HRF (His Royal Floofiness). I’d like to meet Mittens.

BRIDIE, 7, Khandallah School, Wellington, Upstart Magazine

Anyone who’s ever had anything to do with a cat knows they live by their own rules. So it is with Mittens, who has made Wellington’s entire CBD his own personal stomping ground and won a special place in the hearts of those who have seen the Turkish Angora napping in a shop window, drinking out of the Cuba Street Bucket Fountain or window-shopping...Lovingly written by Mittens’ very own human and delightfully illustrated by Phoebe Morris, this is bright, bold and with enough personality to match Mittens’ winning one.

Dionne Christian and Zoe Gadd, Kete