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Tabby McTat - Julia Donaldson

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  • More than just a story
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    9 Reviews
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      18.08.2014 19:18
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      • "More than just a story"
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      • "Lovely story"

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      A wonderful book loved by all ages

      In our house we love books by Julia Donaldson so when Asda had them on offer at 3 for 10 pound I bought 3 new ones.

      Tabby Mctat is a lovely looking book, it is just over A4 in size and has lovely metallic gold writing and stars. The book shows two cats father and son sat under a clear night sky singing away. The book is written by Julia Donaldson best known for The Gruffalo and it is illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

      The boom is about Tabby Mctat who is the buskers cat, him and the busker would sing and meow and people would put money into the buskers hat. One days whilst busking Tabby Mctat takes a stroll and meets a female cat and when he gets back the busker is gone. Unbeknown to Tabby Mctat the busker has had an accident and is in hospital but the cat gets on with his life with the female cat but never forgets the busker.

      I would give the whole story away but it does have a happy ending with he busker ending up with a cat to sing with after all.

      The book is written in rhyme which is one thing that my own children love and I also mind for two 1 year olds and both of them love to listen to these books. Due to the way the book is written you seem to get faster and faster as you read through the book and some of it can have you tongue tied at times.

      The book is set out differently throughout so you have little pictures and big pictures with odd lines of writing and then bigger passages of writing, it certainly isn't boring to look at or read.

      The pictures are great and realistic, the people look like people unlike in some children's books and there is a lot of detail on each page. There are little extra quirky things like a sign stating no busking right where the busker is playing, cigarette ends on the floor and even a Gruffalo teddy on one of the pages.

      This book comes highly recommended from our home the rhythm and rhyme of the book is fantastic and adds to the excitement of the book. The book cost me just 3 pound which is a brilliant price for a book of this standard in my opinion and even the RRP of 7 pound is still great value. The pictures help to make the book what it is with lots of bright colours and plenty of detail. Myself and my children spend ages looking through this book not just reading the text but also picking out all the little extras from the pictures. I couldn't rate this book any less than 5 stars.

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      18.11.2012 11:43
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      A great book for toddlers

      Tabby McTat is the story of a buskers cat who loses his owner and then finds an entirely new life for himself.

      Written by Julia Donaldson and drawn by Axel Schaeffer this is a fun book which uses the familiar rhyming couplet so beloved of Donaldson's fans.

      The book covers issues of friendship, family and responsibility in a tale of a cat who has a happy life but finds something more in the paws of a loving family, whilst he still yearns for his old life, the story plays out well, not covering the same lines too often, as can sometimes be the case in childrens books, whilst providing a fully rounded story and satisfying ending.

      The book is beautifully detailed and the illustrations are memorable and quirky, a town centre is brought to life for the busking story, whilst the home of Tabby McTat's new owners 'Prunella and Pat' is also shown as a warm and loving environment.

      I find this an easy and enjoyable book to read, I think it will really become more enjoyable for my little one when they reach 3 years old right now, it provides easy rhyme and is lovely to look at, but the story will improve for our little reader as they grow.

      The book is available as part of a bookset on the Bookpeople or for as little as 79p (We paid this for a second hand copy) on Amazon Marketplace. It isn't the Gruffalo but it is one of Donaldson's better books and has a lovely moral, nice story, great illustration and short catchy songs and rhyming couplets. It is an enjoyable read for both parent and child and definitely recommended for any keen young readers out there.

      As someone who has owned cats this book clearly is written from a cat lovers perspective and that love translates perfectly onto the page making for a warm and fun read.

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        07.06.2012 11:05
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        a nice story

        I have two children one aged 6 and one who is 4 and I read them a bedtime story every night my eldest is a bookworm and will devour any book and is fairly advanced at reading for her age and then there is the youngest who essentially would never pick up a book of her own free will and will tolerate a bedtime story that is until we discovered Tabby Mctat!
        I have read this book every night for the last month and this is my youngest daughters absolute favourite so much so that she had to buy it for her best friend's birthday present and because I ordered a copy from Amazon and it came as a board book she has decided this is her present for her new cousin due in July!!
        Story
        The story is about a busker and his cat and follows them on a journey of separation and reunion and what happens to them in-between as they sing their song as per the author's previous stories this is all rhyming and again illustration are by the magnificent Alex Sheffeler and they are a magnificent story in themselves .
        I personally read this to my youngest as just a story she likes to play her guitar and sing the song! Whereas my eldest discusses how sad that they lose each other and keep missing each other and how he feels at having a happy life but misses his first owner .
        Cost and stockist
        This book is available from all good bookshops as well as on line I personally paid £2.99 for a copy from the works but I also ordered on Amazon for £3.99 however be careful as mine said hardback and turned out to be a board book.
        Recommendation
        I have to say both my daughters enjoy this one and therefore they would recommend this, but personally having read many Julia Donaldson books I personally prefer the Princess and the wizard, what the ladybird heard, and the smartest Giant in Town all of which I feel are stronger stories but regardless of this it is an enjoyable story and would suit from birth to about 8 years old.

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          11.06.2011 00:28
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          A heart warming tale of a cat with a beautiful voice and a busker for a pal!

          "Me, you and the old guitar,
          How perfectly, perfectly happy we are.
          MEEE-EW and the old guitar.
          How PURRRR-fectly happy we are!"

          Tabby McTat is a busker's cat. He spends his days happily singing along to the old man's tunes. One morning Tabby McTat takes a stroll and meets a gorgeously glossy and green-eyed cat named Sock. But while they are chatting, something terrible happens to the busker when he is injured in the course of trying to stop a thief and gets carted off to hospital. Of course Tabby McTat doesn't know this and is horrified to find the busker gone upon his return. His friend Sock invites him to live with her and whilst Tabby McTat has a wonderful life with his new people Prunella and Pat and even goes on to have kittens with Sock, he is never able to forget that he was once a busker's cat.

          One day Tabby McTat can stand it no longer and sets off to find the busker. Little does he know he is being followed by the noisiest of his kittens Samuel Sprat. Will Tabby find the busker, and will he even want to be a busker's cat again if he does? What will become of Samuel Sprat?

          As can be expected from a book from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Tabby McTat is a heart warming tale that will engage children (and their parents) again and again. My four year old daughter soon learnt the song that repeats throughout the book, offering a wonderful opportunity to engage her in the story telling process. I am often treated to a rendition whilst she takes a bath which is always nice and tells me the story is memorable even when the book is not in front of her.

          Look out for a guest appearance by The Gruffalo, a wonderful touch that reminds us that this book is yet another winner for the Donaldson Scheffler pairing.

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            06.05.2011 18:44
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            A lovely book

            My daughters always love the wonderful picture books that are produced by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (books include The Gruffalo and Stickman). The latest book of theirs that we have recently read is 'Tabby McTat' which seems to have the same winning formula as their other great books.
            We learn at the start of the book that Tabby McTat is Fred, the buskers cat and that Fred plays the guitar and they sing together in a sort of fashion:

            'Me. You and the old guitar,
            How perfectly, perfectly happy we are.
            MEEE-EW and the old guitar,
            How PURRRR-fectly happy we are.'

            One morning, while they are busking, Tabby McTat decides to take a stroll and happens to come across a 'gorgeously glossy and green-eyed cat' called sock and it appears to be love at first sight. Unfortunately while he is gone though, Fred is attacked by a thief, bangs his head and lands up in hospital. When McTat cannot find Fred, Sock invites him back to hers, and there they stay together eventually having some kittens of their own. In the meantime, after Fred is discharged from hospital, he finds that a band has taken up in his favourite busking spot and he has lost his cat. McTat misses Fred though so he sets out to find him with his young son Samuel Sprat. Eventually they find him but Tabby knows that if he goes back to being a busker's cat he will miss his comfortable life with Sock too much. However, there is always Samuel Sprat...

            As in usual Julia Donaldson style, this book is written entirely in rhyme which makes it immensely readable and gives a fantastic rhythm to the story telling. The description in the rhyme is excellent and it all seems to work so well. Here's an example:

            'Now McTat had a wife and a very nice life.
            With plenty of Things to Do,
            Like washing Prunella and pouncing on Pat,
            And hiding the car keys under the mat,
            And keeping the newspapers nice and flat,
            And giving the pens an occasional bat...

            and so it goes on. I think that the rhyming is brilliant in this book and small children will love it too because they will be able to help supply the rhyming words and in so doing, help to tell the story. It also makes it easier for emerging readers to have a go at reading themselves because there is often a clue in the rhyme.
            Tabby McTat is such a wonderful quirky story too which has got a great deal of humour in it yet it is also rather touching. The little love affair between NcTat and Sock is especially so, and also the relationship between McTat and Fred. Luckily there is a happy ending too.

            Axel Scheffler's illustrations are really fun too. He always seems to get such whimsical expressions on all of the characters' faces and we absolutely love the ones in this book. They really back up the story well and I think they double our enjoyment of the book. It really is a fun book and both my daughters love it and thoroughly recommend it as a great picture story book!

            Tabby McTat is currently available on Amazon for £3.99 (May 2011).

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              20.11.2010 20:20
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              Buy It!

              I recently came across this children's book ; Tabby McTat by a Julia Donaldson. The book was released in September 2010, and so is very recent. This book is currently available to buy from Amazon for a price of £3.99 which I think is excellent value considering that the book is only a couple of months old.

              In this book : Tabby the cat is happy singing along with busker Fred. One day, Fred chases a thief, and Tabby and Fred are seperated. Will they ever find eachother again? Read Tabby McTat to find out!

              This book consists of lovely rhymes, which children will enjoy joining in and trying to guess what the rhymes are. I thought that the rhymes were interesting, however, my only criticism is that the lines in the poems don't flow easily and so they are not as enjoyable as lines which flow easily.

              The language used in this book is fairly simple, and so children between four and eight should not have any problems understanding. There are some great illustrations which clearly describe what is going on in the story. Young children will especially enjoy looking at the 'fun' and 'colourful' illustrations. At thirty twi pages long the book is a great length!

              This is a nice warm story which shows childen that animals and humans can be friends, just like Fred and Tabby McTat. I think that this book sends out a good message to young children, who are afraid of things , that some things which may look scary, such as cats maybe, aren't as bad as they seem, like this book shows.

              I would definately recommend this fun read to all children! Definately one for their Christmas stocking!

              Thanks for reading!
              November 20th 2010
              xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)

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              29.06.2010 20:02
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              Lovely book.

              Tabby Mc Tat is a delightful book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheiffler, the talented people who brought is the Gruffalo, and other family favourites that have become modern day classics. When I saw this book on the shelf at the book fair, I was immediately drawn to it, because I could tell from the style of the illustrations who tyhe authors were and I have never been disappointed by any of their books in the past. The fact that there was a cat on the cover was another big pull for me!


              The story, like the others from the same stable, is all written in rhyme. This makes it really appealing to read. The story is quite a long one, and it concerns a busker, who performs in the town square with his cat. Unfortunately, the busker has an accident and ends up in hospital, which leads to the cat being taken in by new owners. When the busker returns, he is heartbroken to find his cat missing. Meanwhile, the Tabby cat is enjoying his new life, complete with wife and three kittens, but still wonders what became of his friend...


              My daughter is seven, and I bought the book for her. She read it as soon as she got home and absolutely loved it, whisking it upstairs for a second read on her bed. The text was easy enough for her to read herself, though the book wpould appeal to children aged 3-8 years old.


              The illustrations in the book are absolutely superb, and packed with detail. I love that in kids books, as it allows you to spot something new every time you read the book. For example, the picture of the busker in the town square is packed with many different characters, all engrossed in different activities. You can spend ages looking at the pictures with your child and discussing the people and animals in them.


              The book really tugged at my emotions and I was nearly crying at the end, which makes me a complete saddo, I know. The book isn't even sad, it is happy and uplifting! Anyone with cats will absolutely adore this book. The RRP is £10.99 for the hardback version, which is quite expensive for a book that isn't particularly thick, but I managed to get it for £5.99 at the book fair, which I feel is an appropriate price to pay for this type of book. The book is a treasure, that the child will want to read again and again.


              The ISBN is 9781407109244

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                14.12.2009 17:31
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                A very pleasing book- good verse and great illustration.

                I have been working my way through some of the wonderful children's story books that have been written by Julia Donaldson and I have to say that I think that they are nothing less than superb. My niece recently bought a hardback copy of Tabby McTat for her small son and we enjoyed sharing the story together.
                This hardback copy was not cheap, it was just under £10 from W.H.Smith's but you had the opportunity to purchase another book at a half of the RRP.

                The illustrations are carried out by Axel Scheffler and I think that the cover is so appealing, Tabby McTat is pictured sitting beside his young son and they both have wide smiles upon their faces.
                My nieces family cat is a grey tabby who looks just like Tabby McTat and this fact partly swayed the deal, that's for sure !

                Julia Donaldson has an imaginative mind and she can transport herself into the inner world of a child's mind and come up with a tale that will keep them spellbound from start to finish.
                The majority of her books are written in rhyme, some have more rhyme than others, Tabby McTat has good rhyme all of the way through.
                The wording is simple yet creative and my little great nephew (aged 5) can manage to get most of Julia Donalson's storylines off pat after a while.
                The illustrations are colourful and busy, I love the `cartoon ` faces and it is so good to note that Julia has modelled her characters with the real world in mind, hence we have people from all parts of the world appearing in the book. The streets are bustling with people and there are aeroplanes in the sky.

                The book is not long but it is a very touching little tale about Tabby McTat, Fred the Busker's cat. Tabby helps to attract the crowds who then put their coppers into the buskers hat but one fine day Tabby McTat wanders off for a chat with a feline friend. Tabby and the busker get parted and Tabby ends up homeless.
                In time Tabby McTat is rehomed by the family who own Sock ( a pretty young female cat with a glossy black coat and emerald green eyes).
                Tabby and Sock go on to produce a family of their own and life is good.
                But Tabby still finds it impossible to get the friendly busker out of his mind and sets out in search of him.

                Though the storyline is fairly simple it is well thought out and the tale flows well. Julia Donaldson has aimed her book at readers aged three to six and the whole thirty pages can be comfortably red within thirty minutes.
                The whole tale is wonderful, I have to say that when Sock introduced Tabby McTat to his new family even I welled up !
                The verse is easy to read and it is also easy for the children to understand, you can make so much of the story by changing the tone of your voice. I feel that Julia Donaldson has filled the book with many different emotions and she has done it with style. Tabby goes walkabouts and there is sadness, Tabby is rehomed and there is happiness, Tabby has a family and there is great joy. Towards the end of the story there is a happy reunion which is touching.
                Tabby McTat loves his busy life, in fact he thrives on it , all in all he is one very happy moggy with just one small problem left to solve but I will let you find out if he manages to solve that problem.

                There are some children's books that make good bedtime books and there are those that don't, this story makes a perfect bedtime story and the ending makes a nice note to go to sleep on.
                After asking my niece if there was anything that she would change about the book her reply was `The Price!` but then in the next breath she said that it would have been cheaper if she could have waited until the paperback version of Tabby McTat had come out.

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                03.12.2009 19:51
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                A great new offering from the number one picture book team.

                The perfect pair have done it again! The new hardback picture book from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler has the plot, the style & the look...

                THE PLOT
                Tabby McTat is a busker's cat (with a tartan necktie no less). Fred the busker sings & plays guitar & Tabby joins in too with the odd mew. One day Tabby strolls off & meets Sock, a black cat with one white paw & they have a cat to cat chat! When Tabby returns to their busking place to find Fred he has gone. Little does Tabby know that he has been taken to hospital & so he lingers in their square waiting, & waiting. A week later Sock finds the abandoned Tabby along & looking thin & gets 'her people' to take him in. Meanwhile a (slightly) better Fred returns to his square to find a brass band have usurped his favourite busking spot & Tabby is nowhere to be seen.

                Tabby's new life with his white socked wife is choc full of exciting things but he still pines for Fred. He dreams of Fred & checks the square for Fred but never finds Fred. When Sock has three kittens (Soames, Susan & Samuel Sprat) Tabby teaches them his (& Fred's) favourite song. One day they hear someone else singing their song & follow the music to find Fred at the end of it. The one inseperable duo are reunited! However Tabby had a sweet life with Sock & her people & soon misses it. Cue Samuel Sprat stepping in (he's got a necktie too!) to save the day & take his father's place. Tabby can keep his creature comforts and Freds got a new pal. Everyone lives happily ever after!

                THE STYLE

                Julia Donaldson's stories are often complex & thought provoking & this is no exception. The story has 8 named characters & a double stranded plot as well as some complex rhymes. The rhymes really are a pleasure to read in this one, with some being carried through 8 lines with a separate rhyme on the lines either side. There's plenty of alliteration too which is always an added treat when reading aloud. The whole rhythm of the story runs really smoothly & despite its complexity feels very neat.

                I did find that this story has a rather gritty edge compared to their others. Fred ends up hospitalised with a broken leg & banged head after giving chase to a thief who stole his money filled hat. Of course the story has plenty of moral to it. Tabby & Fred are very loyal to one another & the part where Tabby pines for Fred in the square is very Greyfriars Bobby. Yet it is more complicated than that as Fred has newfound loyalty to his wife & new family too. It's about choices & priorities. The plot also deals with the idea of things changing & yet carrying on, as Samuel Sprat takes his father's place alongside Fred. Some of the subtle nuances may be missed when reading aloud to little ones but the general themes of loyalty & friendship are too strong to be overlooked.

                THE LOOK

                The look of this book oozes Axel Scheffler. His trademark, slightly 2D, heavily outlines style is unmistakable.The cover is a very striking one, depicting Tabby & his son under a deep blue midnight sky, with the title & stars in the sky embossed in gold.

                The clours are bright & bold yet very deep with a predominance of green grey and brown. It's often the little details that are picked out in the brightest colours. The fur on the feline characters is very similar to that of the Gruffalo, with a lovely blending of several shades & obvious brushwork/lines to indicate the texture. The faces of the characters have easily read expressions, my personal favourite being the bulging eyes & cheeks of the tormbone player in the brass band!

                There's certainly a great deal to look at on every page, with a lot of busy backgrounds & crowd scenes. Axel has included plenty of humorous details for the bedtime reading adults to have a chuckle at, including a 'No Busking' sign next to Fred's fave busking spot, the odd cigarette butt as his feet, some very distasteful Hawaiian shirts being sported in the crowd scenes & a child clutching a Gruffalo toy!

                I also particularly like Sock's people, Prunella & Pat. Their house has the stereotypical look of a pair of old spinsters with cats (busy wallpaper, framed cat pics etc!) but we do not know the true nature of their relationship. Perhaps they're a very happy couple, there is a book on either side of the bed!

                OVERALL
                I think that this is one of Julia Donaldson's best written picture books. The rhymes are great & the story is a bit different. Its got an edge to it that feels a bit more modern, although the clothes in the crowd scenes might date it in a way that the animal centred stories never can be dated!

                Tabby McTat has an r.r.p. of £10.99, with most stores discounting it at around £3 off. You can wait for the paperback but there's no release date for this as of yet.
                Its advised readership age is 2 to 6.
                It has 30 pages.

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