This is the story of a cat, a broomstick and an ordinary schoolgirl called Rosemary. She bought them both in the market, quite cheaply. Of course, neither the cat nor the broomstick were just what they seemed, and they turned up just when Rosemary badly needed something nice to happen to her. A good cat is apt to be independent, so she did not have things all her own way, and as Carbonel proved to be a Royal cat in a very special sense, that was understandable. Between the cat and the broomstick, Rosemary picked up some useful spells and magic, and the adventures they brought about turned a dull-looking holiday into one long to be remembered for its unexpected excitements and rewards.
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Barbara Sleigh was born in 1906 in Warwickshire. She took an art teacher's training course, and later began to write stories for children for radio. She was a lecturer at Goldsmiths' Teacher Training College, then in 1933 joined the staff of BBC Children's Hour. There she met and married David Davis, who later became Head of Children's Hour. Her first children's book, Carbonel, which was to become the first of a trilogy, was published in 1955 and has remained a firm favourite with younger readers.From AudioFile:
From a performer's point of view, the trouble with magic is that all sorts of things speak which usually have no voice. In this case, the majestic black cat, Carbonel, who is under an enchanted spell, shares center stage with Rosemary, a helpful girl longing for a cat of her own. Anna Massey is admirable as Rosemary and the other supporting characters, but she has trouble with Carbonel. The creaky, cranky voice she uses for Carbonel is distinctive but doesn't capture his heroic and resourceful qualities. Still, this is a story replete with magic and adventure which will provide enjoyable family listening. L.S. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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