Sunday, July 28, 2013

Here, Kitty: Tabby McTat, the Musical Cat by Julia Donaldson

"Me, you, and the old guitar, how perfectly, perfectly happy we are.

MEEE-EW and the old guitar, how PURRRR-fectly happy we are."

It's a purr-fect blendship, the partnership of street busker Fred and his cat, Tabby McTat, a gray striper with a voice that can really belt it out. Fred and his guitar are a familiar sight on the downtown corners of his hometown, playing and singing, with Tabby's accompanying cat-calls, for the entertainment of passers by.

But cats will be cats, and Tabby has times when he just has to roam.  One day while he's prowling the neighborhood, Fred's beat-up tip hat is swiped, and in the pursuit, he falls and breaks a leg. It's off to the hospital for the old busker, and when McTat returns to their favorite corner, there's no sign of Fred or his guitar. Tabby searches sadly up and down the town to no avail. Without Fred to feed him, the busker's cat has no cat food, and poor Tabby grows thin and lonely.

Then fortune finds him--in the form of a warm-hearted lady cat named Sock who takes him home with her to a cat-loving couple, Prunella and Pat,  and McTat finds a home. Nature takes it course, and in due time, there are kittens! Tabby becomes a sleek, well-fed pet and is busy helping tutor their brood of capricous kitties.

But McTat never forgets Fred, and one day he sets forth on a missing person search. A brass band has made their old corner their permanent gig, and Tabby is forced to widen his investigation, followed stealthily by his adventurous son, Samuel Sprat. Tabby finally finds Fred at his new, solo venue, and the two have a joyful reunion, but Tabby knows that his place is back home with Sock, Pat, and Prunella. But then, a look-alike musical cat appears, ready to sit in with Fred:

Then from a window sprang Samuel Sprat.
"Oh, please let ME be the busker's cat!"

No one tells stories in rhyme better than Julia Donaldson, and for this tabby tale she joins forces with her old partner, illustrator Axel Scheffler to provide the cute kitties and homey cityscape, in her Tabby McTat, the Musical Cat (Levine/Scholastic, 2012) a kitty tale which is truly the cat's meow.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home