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Book Title: The Master Cat, or Puss in Boots|
The author of the book: Charles Perrault
Edition: The Planet
Date of issue: August 1st 2011
ISBN 13: 9781908478184
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 659 KB
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 3.7
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Although Fred Marcellino's illustrations are simply and utterly brilliant (lushly descriptive, authentically, historically 18th century French in style and movement, and more than well deserving of the Caldecott Honour Medal), I cannot say that I have ever really enjoyed Puss in Boots all that much as a tale, as a story. I have now read it in Perrault's French original, as well as in both German and English translation, and while I can appreciate the storyline to an extent, some parts have also always rubbed me the wrong proverbial way. Why for instance, would the Ogre's peasants, his serfs so to speak, automatically believe a passing cat's threats that he would have them killed if they did not tell the king that the fields belonged to the Marquis of Carabas, aka the Miller's son? And even with the king, I find it kind of hard to fathom that he would have simply accepted the Marquis of Carabas as an existing nobleman, as the king would know of and be familiar with his country's noblemen and women, especially someone as high born as a Marquis (on the other hand, how the cat defeats the ogre is priceless and hilarious, albeit rather predictable, and I do love the fact that once the miller's son makes his fortune, and marries the king's daughter, his helper, his feline companion, is not forgotten, but becomes a great lord in his own right).
I have been debating whether to rate Puss in Boots with three or four stars, and finally decided on three stars. Although (thankfully) the original author and translator are mentioned (Charles Perrault, Malcolm Arthur), the tale actually has a rather interesting life story, and a more detailed note on its genesis and history would increase the literary and folkloric value of the same. The Brothers Grimm included a Puss in Boots type of tale in the first 1812 edition of their Kinder- und Hausmärchen but then removed it from subsequent editions as being not only "too French" but also "too literary" in scope, a salient point both interesting and ironic, considering we now know that many of the Grimms' collected "German" folktales were gathered from friends and acquaintances of French Huguenot extraction, and that the Grimms' themselves relentlessly edited and stylised their folktales, so that by the 1857 edition, their collection of tales was actually in many ways more literary than traditionally folkloric (all nuggets of knowledge that would and could be a great addition as an author's note in this otherwise excellent rendition of Charles Perrault's classic tale).
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Read information about the authorCharles Perrault was a French author who laid foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, and whose best known tales, offered as if they were pre-existing folk tales, include: Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, Cinderella, Bluebeard, Hop o' My Thumb), Diamonds and Toads, Patient Griselda, The Ridiculous Wishes...
Perrault's most famous stories are still in print today and have been made into operas, ballets (e.g., Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty), plays, musicals, and films, both live-action and animation.
The Brothers Grimm retold their own versions of some of Perrault's fairy tales.
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