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Senor Don Gato: A Traditional Song Hardcover – July 28, 2003
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-Ah, Senor Don Gato! He is an urbane and charming feline, a Falstaff of cats, at home in his portly physique and quite confident of his charm and allure. Sure enough, a lovely white fluff ball of a lady cat is smitten. Her note to Don Gato so delights her swain that he jumps for joy-right off the roof, breaking his knee, ribs, and whiskers, "And his little solar plexus." That looks like the end, and his fellow felines put him into a pine box. Followed by his weeping sweetheart, the cortege heads for the cemetery. On the way, they pass the fish market, the lovely smell revives the dead, and all ends happily. This traditional English version of a Mexican rhyme has rhythm and pulse. It reads aloud well, and is beautifully extended by Manders's sun-drenched gouache illustrations. The gold tones give the effect of a trip to the south, and the humorous cartoon style gives viewers a Don Gato of charm and substance. Pair this with Charles Perrault's Puss in Boots, as illustrated by Fred Marcellino (Farrar, 1990), for a storytime featuring two cats with class.
Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 2. Originally a Mexican rhyme that transmogrified into a traditional song that is not widely familiar, this boisterously illustrated interpretation will likely be a new favorite among youngsters. After Senor Don Gato climbs on a roof to read a love letter, the good news that the fluffy, white, sweet lady cat will wed him makes him so happy that he falls off the roof and breaks his knee, his ribs, and all his whiskers. Doctors come on a run but declare him dead. But when the funeral passes market square, the smell of fish brings him back to life. The bright, exuberant gouache illustrations, featuring a cast of bug-eyed cats (Don Gato wears a blousy, ruffle-necked shirt and a hat with a large feather), add the right amount of exaggeration and operatic flair to the entertaining story. A "meow-meow-meow" refrain runs throughout the rhyme as a chorus, and two pages of musical notation give children ample opportunity to "sing" along. Julie Cummins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
This book is hard cover, very nicely illustrated and I'm thrilled to be able to pass this story on to my children.
Oh, Senor Don Gato was a cat.
On a high red roof Don Gato sat.
He went there to read a letter,
Where the reading light was better
'Twas a love note for Don Gato.
Manders depicts the portly gentleman perched on a chair on a steep tile roof, sipping from a teacup and drinking in the words of a sweet lady cat, who assents to wed him.
Alas, or more appropriately, "Ayyy-Caramba!!!" Don Gato takes a tall tumble, and "in spite of everything the doctors tried, poor Don Gato up and died." A rare occurrence on the way to the cemetery, however, provides Don Gato with, if not eight additional lives, at least one more opportunity for happiness with his lovely betrothed.
Using a palette rich in red, gold and brown tones, Manders evokes a Spanish colonial town, with church tower and balconied homes lining narrow cobblestone streets-all timelessly tucked away in sun-drenched hills.
Manders uses the long-known English translation, with its spry rhyme and clever lyrics, loosely based upon the traditional Mexican song. Unfortunately, the authorship of both the original and the translation have been lost to history.