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Aileen Paterson

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Aileen Paterson


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Maisie Comes to Morningside, Maisie Goes to Hospital, What Maisie Did Next, Maisie and the Pirates, Maisie's Merry Christmas

Edinburgh College of Art

Aileen Paterson, MBE (born 30 November 1934) is a Scottish writer and illustrator, best known for her series of children's books about Maisie MacKenzie the kitten.



Aileen Paterson was born in the Fife town of Burntisland. As a child, she moved to Kirkcaldy, before gaining a place at Edinburgh Art College, where she specialised in pottery.

She still lives in Edinburgh and is a passionate supporter of that city.

The title of her first book, Maisie Comes to Morningside (1984), was inspired by the American crime writer Chester Himes'book Cotton Comes to Harlem (1965).

In the Queen's Birthday Honours list of 2016 she was awarded an MBE for services to children's literature.

Maisie the kitten

Maisie Mackenzie, the heroine of Paterson's series of children's books, wears a kilt and Fair Isle jumper and lives in Morningside, a suburb of Edinburgh. Maisie is a brave, adventurous kitten exploring a world that ultimately reinforces the good things in life such as friendship, food, fun, community and football. The wit and finely tuned social observation engages adults as much as children.

Maisie's world is almost entirely populated by cats, so that although there is a belligerent budgie and the occasional horse, there are no dogs or humans. However, Maisie's adventures take place in real places (reflected in the books' illustrations) such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris, and New York. Maisie Bites the Big Apple features the Marc Chagall murals in the Metropolitan Opera House.

Paterson's latest book (2006) sees Maisie investigating strange goings-on in Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens.

In 2011 Lothian Buses made Maisie the face of the Number 5 bus, which goes through the character's home district of Morningside.

Maisie in other media

Several stories have been turned into an animated series called Meeow! starring Stanley Baxter.

Selected works

Paterson also contributed to the following anthologies:

  • Braw Stories (2005)
  • Scottish Summer Schools (2007)
  • References

    Aileen Paterson Wikipedia