CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 16. . . .December 20, 2013
In Jennifer Brown's Tallulah, the Theatre Cat, Tallulah the cat yearns for more. The allure of the bright lights, animated sounds, and energy of the actors invite Tallulah's curiosity to the magic of the theatre stage. She has a "family, a home, her bowls by the door, but ever since kittenhood she's wanted" to be a part of the theatre stage community. However, as Tallulah roams the Victoria Playhouse grounds, she is not welcome to join the actors on stage, the box office or concessions team, the builders and painters backstage, rehearsals, or the technician's spotlight; she is repeatedly asked to get out of the way. Tallulah struggles to find a place to belong and excel at her interest in theatre, but she is motivated by her optimistic motto: "Tally would not be discouraged by this—every cat must follow her bliss." But when Tallulah begins to feel dejected and goes missing (in a trunk of costume hats), the director and actors notice her absence and realize her dedication and passion for the theatre community. Once she is found, Tallulah is given the honourable role of official theatre greeter.
Brown's story presents Tallulah's desire and persistence to be a part of the theatre community. Brown's readers will admire Tallulah's dedication to follow her dreams, and readers will feel encouraged to follow suit to fulfill their most desired ambitions. Brown's colourful illustrations will capture Tallulah's energetic spirit and engage readers to follow along on Tally's theatre mission. I would recommend Tallulah, the Theatre Cat for school and public libraries because of its optimistic narrative that displays expected challenges along the way to success. Brown's story is a great storytime read-aloud that presents an excellent opportunity for classroom discussion.
Natalie Schembri studies Children's Literature at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.
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