I read to my daughter a lot. One of our favourite books is Tabby McTat, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. We first found it at the library, and checked it out a couple of times. Got some overdue fines for it, too. And as with many of our favourites, I’ve got most of it memorized. So I bought our own board book. You have to be judicious about buying toddler books, because you end up reading them a million times in rapid succession. Hence, the memorization. I didn’t try to do it; it just happened. The book makes a great present for toddlers, beginner readers, and just about anyone.

The picture book has very detailed illustrations with a gentle humourous touch. In one, you can clearly see the buskers merrily making music next to a “No Busking” sign. In another, the two nice women who take in our protagonist are clearly crazy cat ladies, complete with cat statuettes by their door, walls covered in cat pictures, umbrellas with cats on the handles, cat mugs, and cat books.

…though just so my clients know, 90% of my cat paraphernalia were gifts by loved ones who assume that having cats means that you need to have lots of things with cats on them. And once someone sees that you have something with a cat on it, they feel inspired to get you more stuff with cats on them. Why does this assumption not apply to dog owners? Hmmm?

Anyway, as with just about all of the Donaldson books, the story rhymes and is clever and charming. The ending isn’t stiflingly moralistic or overtly feel-good, though [SPOILER ALERT] you do feel good at the end.

One of my other favourite Donaldson-Scheffler books with a super catchy refrain? Superworm!

Superworm is super long!

Superworm is super strong!

Watch him wriggle, see him squirm!

Hip hip hurray for Superworm!!