Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Book cover: "The Talking Cat and Other Stories of French Canada"

  • Title: The Talking Cat and Other Stories of French Canada
  • Author: Natalie Savage Carlson (1906-1997)
  • Illustrator: Roger Duvoisin (1900-1980)
  • Publisher: Harper & Brothers, New York
  • Original price: $2.50
  • Year of publication: Original publication was 1952. This is the 1955 Weekly Reader Children's Book Club edition.
  • Pages: 87
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Contents: The seven stories are: The Skunk in Tante Odette's Oven, The Talking Cat, Jean Labadie's Big Black Dog, The Speckled Hen's Egg, The Canoe in the Rapids, The Ghostly Fishermen, The Loup-Gorou in the Woods.
  • First sentences: "Long ago in Canada, there were no television sets or radios or movies. The people who lived in the country spent so much of their time working that they did not miss these things. But when they gathered in their kitchens in the long winter evenings, there was need for some kind of entertainment. So anyone who could tell a good story was more than welcome as a guest."
  • Notes: These tales are "retold" by Natalie Savage Carlson, per the title page, putting this is the same general category as Ruth Manning-Sanders' retold folk and fairy tales. ... The author's other books include 1965's The Empty Schoolhouse, a well-regarded tale of school integration. ... The Talking Cat is also much-loved. One Goodreads reviewer said "This is one of the most amazing and hilarious set of folk tales I've ever read. The title story is not great shakes, but the rest is absolutely amazing!" while another wrote: "This book used to belong to my grandmother. When I was younger the Ghostly Fisherman, the loup-garou, etc. kind of freaked me out, but I really liked it!" ... A Loup-Gorou, by the way, is also known as a rougarou, roux-ga-roux, rugaroo or rugaru and is basically the French folklore version of a werewolf. Read more about it Wikipedia and on the Mythical Creatures Guide.

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