Macavity,the Mystery Cat by T S Eliot and Arthur Robins

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Macavity,the Mystery Cat by T S Eliot and Arthur Robins

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Lorraine McDonald
Reviewed by Lorraine McDonald
Summary: A classic T.S. Eliot poem about the mischievous, mysterious cat Macavity, brought to life brilliantly with drawings by Arthur Robins. The long arm of the law is stretching out to capture this feline fiend… but will he ever be found?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2014
Publisher: Faber and Faber
ISBN: 978-0571308132

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There’s nothing my little boy likes more than to sit down with a tome of good poetry. Currently he is reading T.S. Eliot. Well, that’s what I will be telling them down at playgroup anyway. No need to add that it’s not ‘The Wasteland’. The poem in this volume is actually just one from ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ and features the inimitable scoundrel of the title, Macavity.

For those not familiar with Eliot’s lighter verse, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is a series of poems each portraying a different feline character. Macavity is described as ‘the mystery cat’. He would be insulted to be branded a simple thief. He is part spiv, part gangster and all loveable rogue. He’s tried the patience of the finest. Scotland Yard, the Foreign Office, even the Admiralty suspect him of felony. Mysteriously, after each crime, ‘Macavity’s not there’.

Macavity is a glorious romp of a read for the whole family. With its sonorous tone and pacey lines, it’s a joy to share. Andrew Lloyd Webber clearly agrees as he made a musical out of the collection. Maybe not an interpretation to everyone’s taste… What then of this illustrated version by Arthur Robins? In this edition Macavity gains a foil in the form of a bumbling police officer. This is a dog (of course!), a Bloodhound who leads the investigation in to the mystery cat’s antics. This nameless and hapless character stages line ups, startles innocent rats with his flashlight but never manages to track down Macavity. As for the villain himself, we are occasionally afforded a glimpse of tail or ear at a scene of crime but there is no evidence to incriminate this scraggy ginger cat about town.

Macavity, the mystery cat, is a great child’s introduction to character development, rhyme, rhythm and pace, and language. Suavity, depravity and fakir are some gems that may enter your child’s vocabulary. The illustrations in this edition are funny and bring an extra dimension to an already thoroughly entertaining read. Don’t keep this one just for the children – share it with cat lovers, poetry buffs and the whole family. You can even have a giggle on your own.

If Macavity wets your appetite for T.S.Eliot, give 'The Wasteland' a miss and acquaint yourself with some more felines friends in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T S Eliot illustrated by Axel Scheffler of Gruffalo fame. You might also enjoy The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.

Buy Macavity,the Mystery Cat by T S Eliot and Arthur Robins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Macavity,the Mystery Cat by T S Eliot and Arthur Robins at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.


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