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Stories To Tell A Cat by Alvin Schwartz
Children's Literature with Dr. Vardell

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My review of a collection of floklore by Alvin Schwartz...


Schwartz, Alvin. 1992. STORIES TO TELL A CAT. Illustrated by                      

      Catherine Huerta. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-020851-1



STORIES TO TELL A CAT is a collection of much loved cat folklore from all over the world, collected and retold by Alvin Schwartz.  It has stories that are told very much like they are being spoken to the reader, as if a master storyteller were right there in your presence, retelling the story. The black and white illustrations, rendered in pencil, are well done by artist Catherine Huerta.


     This collection of stories remains true to the traditional literature genre. There are fourteen stories in this collection. The cat, of course, is the protagonist of the stories, typically evil.


     One fun story is The Cat Came Back. This particular story has a refrain that goes along with it in chorus style "But Rebecca came back, she wouldnt stay away, she was peeking in the window, the very next day." You can hear the rhyme and rhythm to it, and it is repeated throughout the story with the words changing just a bit to fit the new twist to the story. The illustrations go so well with the story.


     In the back of the book there are Notes to accompany each story. There are interesting facts about the stories and where they stem from. For example, The Cat Came Back was a song in folklore, originally written in 1893 by Henry S. Miller. People came up with their own versions of how they got rid of the cat. Schwartz, true to tradition, changed the story and added some incidents of his own. Cat lovers and cat haters everywhere should enjoy these cat tales that Schwartz has collected.



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