Margaret Read MacDonald,
with Richard Scholtz,
Fat Cat & Friends
(August House, 2002)

Dear librarians, teachers, parents, and grandparents,

This one's for you! It's a storyteller's CD with an array of uses -- for bedtime, schooltime, campfire time ... any time kids are involved, in groups or singly. Margaret Read MacDonald, author of the Fat Cat books, and her cohort, Richard Scholtz, the music person, combine talents in Fat Cat & Friends.

The seven stories in this CD are billed as world tales. Look at the places of their origin: the British Isles, Panama, Denmark, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, France and Ukraine. The music of the dulcimer and the autoharp weaves through and around the tales. Then there is the music of MacDonald's voice. Once heard, it is unforgettable. She is an actress, a mimic and a wordperson with magic in her voice. I can see a group of children so quiet you can hear a pin drop ... unwilling to lose a single syllable.

Is there a thread that runs through the stories? There are the gentlest of lessons: the importance of kindness to others, the values of listening and using one's wits, and the joys of friendship.

Buy this one for your favorite library, your children or your grandchildren. Then, talk about the stories, sing the songs, act out the best scenes, make costumes and look for the Fat Cat books in your favorite bookplace.

Your Rambles reviewer,
Jean Marchand

- Rambles
written by Jean Marchand
published 12 July 2003

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