Review Blog

Oct 07 2013

The house of the cats : and other tales from Europe by Maggie Pearson

cover image

A & C Black, 2013. ISBN 9781408180075.
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Folk tales. Humour. For those students who like to read a variety of folk tales then this is a most diverse collection. Collected from across different European countries, many are a little like some heard before, but most are new to me, and several are variations upon themes. But all are fascinating, give life lessons and are funny to boot.
Several stand out. One from Germany, Mannikin Spannalong, I have not heard before. When a young woman, intent on making her own way in the world, calls at a house for shelter she finds a long bearded wizened old man who demands that she feed him, put him to bed and comb his beard. When he becomes a young man released from a spell, readers will expect love to bloom. But not so, she wants to succeed and so he leaves, and she uses the hair from his beard to spin and so sell and make money.
Belgium's The traveller from Paradise and The Mandrake child from the Czeck Republic are two of the more interesting cautionary tales, while The Pope's mule from France was fascinating, set in Avignon, from where the Papacy ruled in late Medieval times. The story will make readers laugh out loud.
All 28 stories are short, to the point and will excite the imaginations of the readers. This is a neat addition to an area of the library that often contains few new books.
Fran Knight

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates