A beautiful and moving story of friendship, family and love from award-winning author, Sally Murphy.

Narelle is the queen of her household, ruler of the family and, most importantly, Maddie’s wisest and best friend. So when things are not going right for Maddie, and school feels like a lonely and sad place, it is Queen Narelle who regally watches, waits and listens to her favourite human in her time of need.


Sally Murphy grew up loving books, babies and beaches, and nothing much has changed. Now she is grown up (though she tries hard not to be), she thinks a perfect day is one which involves reading, writing, walking or swimming at the beach, time with her six (also grown up) children, her grandchildren, and long-suffering husband. When she isn’t doing these things, Sally is a university academic, teaching teachers how to teach.

Simon O’Carrigan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from the Victorian College of the Arts. He works in illustration because he loves reading, and letting stories inspire his artwork. Since 2017, he has illustrated for publishers, design agencies, commercial clients and institutions. His drawings form part of the permanent exhibition at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Sydney. His most recent picture book is Never Forget (Scholastic, 2021). Simon illustrates using pencil, ink, watercolour and digital media, from his light- and plant-filled studio in Melbourne's inner north. Between freelance projects, he runs, swims, cycles and makes artwork for exhibition and sale.


This is an absolutely delightful story about the special bond and understanding between humans and animals, told in alternating verse chapters from Narelle the cat, and Maddie… A beautiful story of family support, love, friendship issues and overcoming them, and the joy and love that pets bring to our lives, perfect for middle to upper primary readers.

Lamont Books

Queen Narelle is so perfectly written… Murphy handles Maddy’s problems so deftly. There is a calmness that pervades the story. It is gentle, yet still real. It’s moving, yet a smile crept across my face as I was reading. The theme of friendship, bullying, family and love are brought to life with such great simplicity and sensitivity. It ends with such a sense of calmness. This is a slim little book that is a treasure. But then so is Sally Murphy

Good Reading Magazine

This is a beautiful story of family relationships, including the most important pet, and the power of reforming friendships when they break down.

Reading Time

School friendships can cause problems but the love of a cat for her loyal subjects is steadfast. Highly recommended

Sunday Telegraph

Many readers of Maddie’s age will relate to her trials… the resolution is not quick or easy and Madde must do her part, but she has developed a better understanding of herself and relationships with peers through her experience. An attractive, sometimes witty book well worth promoting and discussing with young reader.

Magpies Magazine

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