Aileen Paterson

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Aileen Paterson (born 30 November 1934) is a Scottish writer and illustrator,[1] best known for her series of children's books about Maisie 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.[2]

She still lives in Edinburgh and is a passionate supporter of that city.[3][4]

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).

Maisie the kitten[edit]

Maisie Mackenzie, the heroine, wears a kilt and Fair Isle jumper and lives in Morningside, a suburb of Edinburgh.

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) ie. Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris and New York. (Maisie Bites the Big Apple features the Marc Chagall murals in the Metropolitan Opera House.)

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.[5]

Her latest book (2006) sees Maisie investigating strange goings-on in Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens.[6]

In 2011 Lothian Buses made Maisie the face of the Number 5 bus which goes through the character's home district of Morningside.[7]

Maisie in other media[edit]

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


  1. Maisie comes to Morningside (1984)
  2. Maisie goes to Glasgow (1984)
  3. Maisie's Mystery Tour (1984)
  4. Maisie Meets her Match (1984)
  5. Maisie in London (1985)
  6. Maisie and the Monster (1985)
  7. Little Marco (1987)
  8. Maisie goes to School (1988)
  9. Maisie and the Space Invader (1988)
  10. Maisie and the Posties (1988)
  11. Maisie's Festival Adventure (1988)
  12. Maisie Loves Paris (1989)
  13. Maisie goes to Hospital (1989)
  14. Maisie's Colouring Book (1990)
  15. What Maisie did Next (1991)
  16. Maisie in the Rainforest (1992)
  17. Maisie and the Puffer (1992)
  18. The Pigs of Puddledub (1992)
  19. Maisie Digs up the Past (1994)
  20. Maisie at the Edinburgh Book Festival (1994)
  21. Maisie Goes to Hollywood (1994)
  22. Maisie's Merry Christmas (1995)
  23. Maisie's Second Colouring Book (1995)
  24. Maisie's Fun and Games Activity Book (1996)
  25. Children's Guide to Edinburgh [illustrated] (1997)
  26. Maisie and the Pirates (1998)
  27. Maisie's Millennium Calendar (1999)
  28. Maisie Jumps into Japan (2000)
  29. Maisie Bites the Big Apple (2002)
  30. Maisie and the Abominable Snowcat (2004)
  31. Maisie and the Botanic Garden Mystery (2006)
  32. Maisie's Botanic Activity Book (2008)

Paterson also contributed to the following anthologies:

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Best Scottish children's author". The Scotsman (The Scotsman Publications Limited). 25 November 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Renton, Jennie. "THE write Stuff". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Catcalling the Capital". The Scotsman (The Scotsman Publications Limited). 26 August 2002. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "City books a big place in young hearts". The Scotsman (The Scotsman Publications Limited). 25 February 2005. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  5. ^ McNeil, Robert (29 July 2012). "In praise of - maisie". The Herald Scotland (Herald & Times Group). Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Why Botanics has miaow factor for Maisie". The Scotsman (The Scotsman Publications Limited). 30 August 2005. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Morningside’s mischievous cat Maisie returns for big birthday bash, STV News, 22.02.14

External links[edit]