Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Donaldson, Julia. Tabby McTat The Musical Cat. Illus. Axel Scheffler. London: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009. ISBN 978-0-545-45168-0. $16.99 US /$18.99 CAN.

Tabby McTat The Musical Cat is the story of a cat and his master, a busker named Fred. They enjoy singing songs and collecting money from people on the street.

The story starts out happy and ends happy. However, the ending is not completely happy; Tabby McTat does not go back to his wife and her owners Prunella and Pat. The story is happy in that Tabby McTat is reunited with Fred. I thought the story was sad in that Fred and Tabby were trying to find each other but were unable to do so. Also, Fred breaks his leg when he chases after the thief.

Tabby McTat The Musical Cat uses a lot of rhyme. For example, “this and that” rhymes with “old checked hat.” “Sat” rhymes with “cat.” “Chat” rhymes with “cat.” “Chase” rhymes with “lace.” “Head” rhymes with “bed.” “Black” rhymes with “back.” “Old Fred” rhymes with “hospital bed.” “Pat,” “mat,” “flat,” and “bat” rhyme, so do “Grew” and “mew” and “tabby-gray fur” and “very loud purr.” “Susan and Soames” and “very good homes” rhyme, as does “Tabby McTat” and long-lost cat!”

In addition to rhyme, Tabby McTat The Musical Cat uses repetition. For example, on the first page of text “perfectly” is repeated three times, although the last time says “PURRR-fectly.” When the thief enters the story, “it” is repeated. When Tabby McTat is separated from Fred, “on” is repeated.

The author is also alliterative. The third sentence of the first page reads: “The two of them sang of this and that.” Fred eats bacon and bread; bacon and bread both begin with “B.” When Tabby McTat meets Sock, Sock is described as “A gorgeously glossy and green-eyed cat.” When Sock and McTat talk, it’s described as a “cat-to-cat chat.” When the thief steals the hat, there is a ton of words beginning with “H”: “had,” “his,” “hat,” and “he.” When Fred pursues the thief, the author uses the words “chase” and” crash” and “broke” and “banged.” Sock’s owners are named Prunella and Pat. McTat enjoys pouncing on Pat.

Overall, I thought Tabby McTat The Musical Cat was a good picture book. I liked the interaction between the cats and their owners. As the daughter of a musician, I also liked the musical aspect of the story.

Carly Krewitsky

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