Cunning Cat Tales; Wicked Wolf Tales
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Both of these handsomely produced volumes contain three stories concerning cats and wolves respectively. In each, an introductory note tells us that they are designed to be read aloud and that direct speech rather than descriptive passages is the preferred means of moving the narratives along. Distinctive type styles in the text are intended to help readers to give emphasis and variety to their reading. However, these books are not just for listening; as always Chichester Clark's distinctive and delightful illustrations add enormously to the story. Her characters, human, feline or lupine, exude personality and invite the reader into the text.
'Sir Pussycat' and 'Mr W Wolf' are both Italian folktales with great charm and entertainment value - especially the 'sound effects' in 'Mr W Wolf'. I would have preferred more of these less familiar stories to the retellings of 'Puss in Boots' or 'Little Red Riding Hood', and if there are to be future companion volumes to these perhaps the compilers will consider this.