Hate That Cat

Love This Book:

I could tell you that it’s a novel written as a series of poems.

I could tell you that it touches the teacher in me, the mother in me, the student in me, and the newly discovered cat lover (or poet!) in me.

I could tell you that it describes the way a boy learns to love his cat and his teacher and poetry and his deaf mother.

But, I’ll just let you read some for yourself:

a kitten

stumbling

out of the basket

and wobbling over to me

and crawling up on my lap

and licking my pajamas

and I forgot that I hate cats

as it crawled up onto my chest

and purrrrrred

and I was smiiiiiling

all over

the

place.

which is the end of the poem about receiving his kitten for Christmas, and then we come to this:

The black kitten

is a poet

               L  E  A  P  I  N  G

from

line

         to

                line

sometimes runningrapidly

somtimes s o o t h i n g l y  s l o w l y

here and there

 up

         and

                 down

d

   o                                     UP

      w                       UP

         n          UP

            and

in a silent steady rhythm

exploring

           all

                 the

             tiny

pieces

            of

                    the

                              world.

which is, of course, how the kitten moves.

I hardly have the room to tell you how he signs for his mother who comes to hear the poetry recitation, or the treasure of words he has in his room because of his teacher, who cares:

Thank you thank you thank you

for showing me all the books

of cat poems

and all the books that tell a story

in poems.

I never knew a writer could do that—

tell a whole story

in poems.

I already read the one by Mr. Robert Cromier

(alive?)

and next by my bed is

that dust book by

Ms. Karen Hesse

(alive?)

and underneath that one

is the Essie and Amber one

by Ms. Vera B. Williams

(alive?)

and on my bulletin board is a list you gave me

of so many poets

whose books I can read

and also on my bulletin board

is the funny poem-picture

of the cat chair

by Mr. Chris Raschka

(alive?)

and that poem

by Mr. Lee Bennett Hopkins

(alive?)

about growing up

to

be

a

writer.

I now have

a treasure of words

in

my

room.

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30 thoughts on “Hate That Cat”

  1. Well I read Love That Dog recently and although I liked it, I had decided not to read Hate That Cat…until now. What a great review. And getting a peek at the text has all decided it. Thanks.

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  2. Thank you thank you thank youfor telling me about this bookwhich I will now borrow fromunder the noses of the kidsso that i can foist it upon them!!(and yes, i love cats)

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  3. I bought Love That Dog when it first came out, and I haven't read that yet! But, I will after reading Hate That Cat. My favorite Sharon Creech novel is Walk Two Moons. It won the Newbery in the later 90's, and it's also just about my favorite Newbery (which I often find disappointing).

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  4. Don't they win over your heart? Being a dog lover all my life, I had no idea cats could do that once they entered your home. Thank goodness my son's girlfriend gave him one; then my husband bought me another.

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  5. I love her concrete poems, and I love that you wrote one of your own here! Doesn't reading them just make you want to sit down and try a few of your own?! It does for me.

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  6. You're welcome you're welcome you're welcomefor you were the one reading my postin which I tried to conveyhow poetry istouching my heart.(and yes, i, too, love cats)

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  7. My favorite by Creech is Grandma Torrelli makes Soup…so sweet…and her Bloomability has been on my tbr list for a couple of years. I am not familiar with Walk Two Moons but I will check it out:)

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  8. I didn't even know about Grandma Torrelli Makes Soup, so thanks for that! I started Bloomability, but I didn't finish it…somehow, it didn't grab me. But, there's always a chance that it will. You know, right book for the right time and all that. 😉

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  9. Hi, Kristen, although this is a sequel of sorts to Love That Dog, I don't think it is new. (Although it was new to me! I just bought it in paperback last month.) It was published in 2008 as far as I can understand.

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  10. Four copies of this in the school library and I cannot keep it only the shelves! Wait lists double digit deep. I love that your sensibilities always seem to mirror those of children so well when it comes to their reading material. I always trust people who have more than a bit of the child in them. 🙂

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  11. That's so great, Frances, that the wait list is so long for this at your school library. I'm not sure that's the case at our elementary building, I'll have to check, but the kids in my class get every exposure to quality literature that I can find. We all love Read Aloud as one of our favorite parts of the day; the kids often prefer it to recess. I find that not many of them are read to as I was when I was a child. Isn't that sad?! Your comment about trusting people with a bit of child in them touches me; I feel the same way, and a bit of child in every one keeps them young! Even if I am in my forties. 😉

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  12. And I can see that it has inspired the poet in you… your review, especially in the beginning looks like a poem in itself 🙂 Glad you found something utterly delightful!

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  13. Oh people are talking poem over here! This reminds me of Alice in Wonderland! The poem about the mouse I think? Oh Burton did a good job I tell you. He just incorporated Alan Rickman in a very wise caterpillar speaking with such godly Severus Snap voice.You might be drawing most of us to poem too Bellezza!

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