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Hate That Cat: A Novel Hardcover – September 23, 2008
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From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
"Hate That Cat" is one of the most touching, endearing, delightful, clever, entertaining, instructive books I've ever read. Written in poetic form based on the poems his teacher presents, the book outlines the thinking and writing processes of Jack, one young boy, not any boy, but a very bright, creative boy, one you would want as your student (if a teacher) or your child (if a parent). I was totally captivated by the character, the style of the book, the themes conveyed--not just one, but several, and left tear stains on the last 20 pages or so. This in a 148-page book.
Here's one example of what I mean. Miss Stretchberry introduced the poem by William Carlos Williams (one of my favorites, BTW) entitled "The Red Wheelbarrow."
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
So here's what he writes to Miss Stretchberry:
"The wheelbarrow poem again?
Did you forget we read it last year?
Okay, here's one:
so much depends upon
a creeping cat
crouched in the tree
beside the yellow bus stop."
Then he tells Miss Stretchberry that she will probably ask why (this is his journal) so much depends on that cat.Read more ›
When last we saw Jack he had learned to love the poet Walter Dean Myers and to accept that his dead dog was gone. Now it's an entirely new school year and Surprise! Miss Stretchberry is unexpectedly his teacher again. Of course, she's not too pleased with the series of anti-cat poems he's been writing lately.Read more ›
like my grandpa loves pie
I said I love that book
like my grandpa loves pie
Love to eat it in one sitting
Love to eat it
lean back, sigh.
So we snuggled up just before lights-out & I read her a page of free verse about hating cats. Which morphed into free verse about hating teachers & family who say what you write isn't poetry. And hating six-syllable poetic vocabulary. (Ever heard your kid say onomatopoeia?) But not Edgar Allan Poe. (Followed by a hillarious observation about how Poe wouldn't have passed muster with most teachers today because he uses the word "bells" too much.) And back to cats vs. dogs. And Tennyson. And then kittens...
You know there's something good happening when a child, who just barely can handle Hop On Pop, sits through a reading of The Bells & then demands you look up Tennyson before bed. We haven't finished yet, so I don't know where this is all going, but I thoroughly recommend this book.
Instead of using the predictable storyline of Jack discovering cats aren't so bad (although that is in the story), the main storyline of Jack's discovery of the "sound" of words, especially the cadence of poetry, and that relationship to his hearing-impaired mother.
What could have been an overkill of a good thing (like so many series are these days) turns out to be further character growth and a beautiful story of the power of words and the sounds they make on paper and aloud.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A story of cat adventure and poetry all mixed together to make a great tale of a boy named Jack!Published 24 days ago by Kindle Customer
I'm using this book for a read aloud for my fourth grade class and they are loving it.Published 2 months ago by Amanda Johnson
My book group used this book and her book Love that Dog as the basis for a discussion of poetry. Some members had their doubts, but it turned out to be one of our best discussions... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Louise Witherspoon
A wonderful touching book by a great author. If your children do not like poetry, give them this. It will change their views.Published 5 months ago by BroT
A literacy volunteer brought this book to my attention. It is a great way to introduce poetry, a writing journal, and learning new words in a manner that readers and beginners of... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Novel Destination~Used Book Emporium
I loved this book it actually inspired me to write something like it. I read it because I really just wanted to read poems I was in the poem mood so I read it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Kindle Customer
I used this book (and Love That Dog by the same author) to introduce "poetry" to a small group of gifted fifth graders who have English as a second language.. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mary V. Perry