Friday, November 29, 2013

Music made in heaven....

Quote of the Day:  "A book is a gift you can open again and again."
~Garrison Keillor

Backstory:  The great Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) is best remembered today for his sonatas.  One of his most famous compositions is the Sonata in G Minor, popularly known as "The Cat's Fugue."  According to legend, the distinctive melody of "The Cat;'s Fugue" was inspired by the notes Scarlatti's cat, Pulcinella, played when she walked up and down the keys of his harpsichord.


Title:  Scarlatti's Cat
Author: Nathaniel Lachenmeyer                                                               
Illustrator:  Carlyn Beccia

Everyone would love a cat like Pulcinella.  She is beautiful, she is proud and she is creative.  Her talent lies in music....yes, she loves composing and her desire is to get to her Master's harpsichord and explore her talents. The sad part is, the house rules state that no one must touch the harpsichord except the Master himself.  She sits day in and day out listening to her Master record notes and play glorious sonata's and she longingly yearns for her chance to play her creations too. 

 One day an opportunity arises to give her her heart's desire, thanks to a surprise visit from a little four legged creature. A tiny mouse enters into the music chamber unannounced.  Scarlatti is deep into his music and does not notice the little furry beast, but Pulcinella spots him right away and is very quick to be after him, and the chase is on!  In her dash to capture him she lands on the keys of the harpsichord and immediately produces those heavenly sounds that have been trapped inside of her for ages.  The tiny mouse is quickly forgotten and her unique cat music fills the room and captures the attention of her Master.  Unfortunately, her amazing ability causes her lifestyle to change drastically due to her Master's jealousy.  Scarlatti famous sonata "Fugue in G Minor" has come to be known as the "Cat's Fugue".  Coincidence?  I think not. It is named that because of the resemblance of his cat walking across his beloved keys and him being so enamoured with her composing abilities that he replicated her music for his own benefit.  

The illustrations are gorgeous. The colours are vibrant and the expressions priceless.  They are a huge reason the book is so amazing.  Scarlatti's Cat is a perfect way to introduce kids (and adults) to the world of Scarlatti's harpsichord music.  You can find "the Cat's Fugue" on YouTube so that would be a great follow-up once the book has been shared.  

About the author:

His books include The Origami Master, Broken Beaks, and The Outsider.  He lives outside of Atlanta with his wife and children.  Visit him online at

About the Illustrator:

Carlyn Beccia children's book have won numerous awards including the Golden Kite Honor recipient for picture book illustration, the International Reading Association's Children's and Young Adult Book Award and the Cybil Award for Non-fiction picture book. Beccia teaches digital painting throughout the United States and is author of the best selling, Digital Painting for the Complete Beginner. She paints with 'digital oil brushes' to create a unique and deeply textured art. She enjoys giving live demonstrations of how art is created on the computer and encourages kids to experiment with the digital medium.

                            Book review rating:   8  (Fantastic!)

Be sure to enter the contest to win the book ,"Tell Me How To Say Goodnight," by Teddy O"Malley and Angie Dickens. Both have signed the copy for the Giveaway. Simply leave me your email here on the blog or email it to me at ""   Deadline is November 30th and I will announce the winner here on December 1st.  

Read on and read always!  Have an amazing day.

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