"As a fan of historical fiction, I loved this glimpse into old Italia. My time with Nona Framboni and her purrfectly wonderful friend, Nini the cat, was as sweet as the cannoli basked in Nona's cafe. And the miracle that Nini works in the life of one heartbroken girl is a remind to all of us that the ultimate gift any of us can give is our own true self."

~Kirby Larson, recipient of the Newbery Honor award for Hattie Big Sky


"Children will fall in love with Nini... this is definitely a book worth sharing!"

~Katie's Literature Lounge

​"This wonderful hardcover helps inspire young readers, while encouraging the importance of acts of kindness and how we are so often rewarded in such unexpected ways."

~Phillip Potempa, The Times of Northwest Indiana


"Indeed, I couldn't imagine a better illustrator for such a story. And the colors! O! The Colors!"

~Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

"Before there was Dewey Readmore books, there was Nini, also a humble stray, practicing random acts of kindness in 19th-century Venice... At the heart of Nini's appeal and talent is the fact that he is simply a charming stray. Nethery has a lot of fun with Nini's story, creating chracters openhearted enough to be touched by a purr or a nudge against the shins; she provides an analysis of the fact versus her fiction in the author's note."

~School Library Journal

​The Famous Nini: A Mostly True Story of How a Plain White Cat Became a Star

Praise for The Famous Nini

​by Mary Nethery

Illustrated by John Manders

Published by Clarion Books

(an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

​In venice in the 1890's, a plain white cat, left to fend for scraps, makes his way into the heart of a cafe owner who has nothing to spare. In no time at all, though, Nini becomes a celebrity, hosting visits from the composer Guiseppe Verdi, the king and queen of Italy, and even Pope Leo XIII. Nini's fame helps save the struggling business. But is his stardom enough to produce a small miracle of a different sort?