Friday, January 11, 2013

"Tabby McTat, The Musical Cat" by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Tabby McTat, The Musical Cat Already the title suggests what even toddlers love - rhyming books! The purr-fect story of Tabby McTat is told in rhythm and rhyme with colorfully illustrated pages. The setting is a large city, large enough to have "buskers" on several corners. A "busker" is a musician who plays for donations. This is best explained before the story is read, especially to small children. The author, Julia Donaldson, was a busker herself traveling around Europe with her husband. The illustrator, Axel Scheffler. is known worldwide; and after reading this book to several groups of children from age four to eight, I know why. The expressions on the people and cats are simple, but strong, leaving no doubt of the emotions felt. The only caution is that every child wants to see every wonderful picture!   But back to the story line.... 
Tabby McTat spent his days singing with his owner, Fred, accompanied by Fred's guitar. One morning, McTat took a stroll, stopping to admire a beautiful black cat, gorgeously groomed, and ready for a chat. Meanwhile, Fred was robbed of his donations and injured in the chase that ensued! He ended up in a hospital faraway from their familiar street corner. When McTat returned, Fred was nowhere to be found! Tabby remained on the streets until, by good fortune, he again encountered the black cat, Sock. She insisted that her people, Prunella and Pat, would gladly find room for a fine tabby cat! 

Tabby fits right in to the household, but still returns often to the street corner to search for his old friend, Fred. Meanwhile, life goes on, kittens are born at Prunell and Pat's and all given away except one with a VERY LOUD VOICE! 

When Fred, the busker, returns to the street he sings a sad song yearning for his old friend, Tabby McTat, who shows up one day. Now Tabby has to choose between his life of ease, with his wife and son and Fred who dearly loves him. The solution? You must read it to find out! (But it is one that leaves everyone happy, of course!) (rev. by Carly Karns, Elementary Music Teacher)

About the Authors or Illustrators
Julia Donaldson   is the bestselling author of The Fish Who Cried Wolf, The Room on the Broom, the Gruffalo, and more.
Axel Scheffler   has illustrated award-winning books include Room on the Broom, The Snail and the Whale, and The Gruffalo. His illustrations have been published in more than thirty countries.

DISCLOSURE:  A complimentary copy of Tabby McTat, The Musical Cat was provided by Scholastic Press for the purpose of our rendering an honest review without obligation for positive remarks. 

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