Tabby McTat, the Musical Cat

Tabby McTat, the Musical Cat

4.5 2
by Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler

A purr-fectly rollicking adventure from superstars Donaldson & Scheffler!

Tabby McTat loves his life on the streets with his owner, Fred, singing (and caterwauling) for coins that people throw in Fred's hat. But one day, Fred is in an accident, and the two are separated! Will Tabby and Fred find their way back to each other?

From the creators of A Gold Star

…  See more details below


A purr-fectly rollicking adventure from superstars Donaldson & Scheffler!

Tabby McTat loves his life on the streets with his owner, Fred, singing (and caterwauling) for coins that people throw in Fred's hat. But one day, Fred is in an accident, and the two are separated! Will Tabby and Fred find their way back to each other?

From the creators of A Gold Star for Zog and Stick Man, Tabby McTat is a touching story of friendship, loyalty, singing - and kittens!

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
Impeccable rhythm and rhyme distinguish this particular tale, filled, as always, with Donaldson's exemplary humor and heart.
—Pamela Paul
Publishers Weekly
Tabby’s meow is “loud and strong”—in fact, he’s one half of a busking act with his owner, Fred: “MEEE-EW and the old guitar,/ How PURRRR-fectly happy we are.” Tabby and Fred are separated by various twists of fate, and Tabby finds love and an even more idyllic life with his beloved’s owners, Prunella and Pat, a cheery older couple who don’t mind that Tabby is fond of “hiding the car keys under the mat.... And giving the pens an occasional bat.” How Donaldson and Scheffler (the team behind The Gruffalo and several other books) tie up the narrative threads so that loyalties aren’t torn asunder and everyone ends up happily ever after makes for a surprising and fun read. Donaldson makes those who read aloud work a bit to find a metric footing in this outing, but she adeptly builds gentle narrative tension that will keep children eager to find out what happens next. Once again, she’s helped enormously by Scheffler, whose bright-eyed, warmhearted characterizations make this a wonderful testimony to the ties that bind. Ages 4–8. (Dec.)
From the Publisher

“Impeccable rhythm and rhyme distinguish this particular tale, filled, as always, with Donaldson’s exemplary humor and heart.” - New York Times Book Review

Children's Literature - Suzanne Javid
"Me, you, and the old guitar, how perfectly, perfectly happy we are. MEEE-EW and the old guitar, how PURRRR-fectly happy we are." This is the repeating refrain sung by a cat named Tabby McTat and his busker, a person who entertains in a public place for donations. Tabby McTat's busker is an older gentleman named Fred and together they sing songs as people throw coins into an old hat. One day while Fred is snacking, Tabby strolls around the block and meets a glossy, green-eyed cat named Sock. She's black with one snowy white sock. While they are cat chatting about this and that, Fred meets with misfortune and ends up in a hospital far from town. When Tabby finishes his conversation with Sock, he returns to the spot but Fred is nowhere to be found. Thankfully, Sock's family takes Tabby in and he is happy although he misses Fred and longs to find out what happened. So Tabby goes up, down and all over town, even wandering a whole week long. Of course, the story turns out well. Old Fred is ecstatically glad to have been found and Tabby is happy that his dream of finding his friend with the old hat comes true. One to five cute, detailed and vibrant illustrations on each glossary page with two to four sentences. The ending pages are a double page colorful spread of the busker and his new cat that has a loud and strong meow and a name of Samuel Sprat. This is the first American edition. Although told in rhyme, the book appears to be too lengthy for consistent rhyming patterns. The story and its implications may be too ambitious or sophisticated for its intended audience. With a theme of friendship, loyalty and kittens, a little less may have been purrr-fect! Reviewer: Suzanne Javid
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Fred is an extraordinary busker. He earns his living by playing guitar and singing to crowds… with his cat, Tabby McTat. When the two friends become separated for a period of time, they try to build new lives. McTat starts a family, and Fred tries out a different act. The feline is torn between his obligations to his family and his desire to find his friend, but, after they are reunited, McTat's son, Samuel Sprat, finds a solution that makes everyone happy. Librarians and teachers can make this rhyming story come to life by strumming a guitar while singing the lyrics in the refrain, "Me, you, and the old guitar,/How perfectly, perfectly happy we are./MEEE-EW and the old guitar,/How PURRRR-fectly happy we are." Scheffler's city scenes in saturated colors evoke a variety of emotions, and the expressions on the faces of the kittens and the people are hilarious. Use this book in discussions about relationships.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
A musical cat--what's better than that? "Tabby McTat was a busker's cat / With a meow that was loud and strong. / The two of them sang of this and that, / And people threw coins in an old checked hat." One day, Tabby goes for a walk while Fred, the busker, eats his lunch, and Tabby meets a pretty, black kitty. When he returns, Fred is gone, so Sock, his new friend, gets her owners to take Tabby in. He loves his new situation, especially after kittens come along, but he misses Fred. Once the kitties are grown, Tabby sets off to find Fred, unknowingly tailed by his strong-voiced son, Samuel Sprat. Fred's happy to see his buddy--but Tabby, ever the finicky feline, now misses Sock. What could the solution be? Gruffalo creators Donaldson and Scheffler join forces once again for this lighthearted tale of friendship and music. Donaldson's lyrical verse reads like a song. Oldsters may see where the tale is headed, but young fans will be happily surprised. Scheffler's round-eyed characters and bright colors in full-bleed and inset illustrations extend the story. Young listeners will enjoy spotting Samuel in the background as Tabby searches for Fred. "MEEE-EW and the old guitar, / How PURRRR-fectly happy we are." Sounds like a hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.40(d)
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Tabby McTat, the Musical Cat 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ACS_Book_Blogger More than 1 year ago
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.
alicatAD More than 1 year ago
Love their work. This one has some nice social messages.