FAT CAT by Margaret Read MacDonald


A Danish Folktale
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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Bright-color folk illustrations add zest and bounce to this tale told in many countries. Mouse, who lives with cat, is always busy cooking or sewing. This day, she makes 35 pies and the cat swallows them up, declaring, “I may be FAT, but I’m still a HUNGRY CAT!” Out the door he goes, saying, “Oh, I’m meow, meow FAT! ’Cause I’m a HUNGRY, HUNGRY CAT!” He meets in succession a washerwoman with her washtub, a company of soldiers brandishing swords, and a King on an elephant. Each of them exclaims “My, CAT! You sure are FAT!” to which the cat replies, “I may be FAT but I’m still a HUNGRY CAT!” and SLIP SLOP SLUURP! Cat swallows them down. “BURP!” When he arrives home, he eats his friend, the mouse, who happens to be sewing. She snips her way to freedom and orders, “Everybody OUT!” Because they are friends, she spends the day sewing up Cat’s tummy. “Oh, I’m meow meow FLAT! ’Cause I’m an EMPTY EMPTY CAT!” says the cat. The tale ends: “And now, whenever folks meet Cat they are careful to speak with respect.” The story will be a favorite read aloud and simply demands that listeners shout along. Plenty of white space sets off the pictures and heightens the art. There are, indeed, 35 pies depicted on a double page spread and the green-vested golden cat becomes satisfyingly huge as he swallows each person with their accoutrements. As expected from this scholarly storyteller (The Storyteller’s Sourcebook, etc.) there is a note identifying the motif of the tale and citing other variants. (Folktale. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-87483-616-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: August House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2001


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