Early Book Review: Scarlatti's Cat by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer and Carlyn Beccia

Scarlatti's Cat is a historically inspired picturebook written by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer and illustrated by Carlyn Beccia. It is currently scheduled for release on March 1 2014. This picturebook explores the story that the great Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti wrote his most famous piece of music after being inspired by the sound of his cat Pulcinella walking across his harpsichord. In this fun fictionalization of the legend, Pulcinella dreams of being a composer and finally gets his chance after chasing an unwelcome visitor and tumbling onto the instrument.

Scarlatti's Cat is a fun story with charming artwork. I loved the idea of a cat composing music in his head, and wanting to play the harpsichord. I think the look on Scarlatti's face when his cat started playing an original piece of music was perfectly captured, as was his insecurities about being outshone by his own cat. The story is cute, with a surprise ending, and a beautiful collection of artwork. I love these books that offer fun stories while sneaking in some obscure history or culture that we could all stand to9 explore.

I would recommend Scarlatti's Cat for readers of all ages that enjoy animals, music, and simply great stories.Families with ties to music and composing would have particular interest in the story.  I think the book would be at home in both school and public library collections, as well as in home collections.


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