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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats Hardcover – October 19, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is an absolutely marvelous rendition of Eliot's poetic classic, written for his godchildren and friends in the 1930s, which inspired the Broadway musical Cats. The tales of Mr. Mistoffelees the trickmaster, old Deuteronomy, a laid-back cat, Rum Tum Tugger, a contrary cat, and Macavity, the famous master criminal, are dramatized by Richard Briers, Alan Cumming, Nigel Davenport, Andrew Sachs, and Juliet Stevenson. Unfortunately, some material is repeated on the cassette's second side. Moreover, it comes with another tape that consists of excerpts of forthcoming Penguin audiobooks. This edition seems targeted more toward consumers than libraries.?James Dudley, Copiague, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The distinctive personalities of each cat--brought to life by Scheffler's expressive cartoonlike paintings--and Eliot's lyrical, tongue-and-cheek wordplay, will appeal to a new generation of cat aficionados."--Publishers Weekly 
 
"Edward Gorey's version (Harcourt, 1982) captures Eliot's nuanced humor in stylized black-and-white cartoons. Scheffler's illustrations add colorful detail and playfulness, but both editions bring out the timeless wit and wisdom of these poems. Make room for both editions; cat (and even dog) lovers everywhere will welcome Scheffler's marvelous work."--School Library Journal, starred review
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: NP (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054724827X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547248271
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
OK, the musical has been going on and on for some time now, PBS has it on tape, but have you actually sat down and read these poems out loud? My daughter of 5 years watched Cats on PBS and loved it, and enjoyed hearing the poems as well for bedtime reading. TS Eliot as a childrens' book - well, why not? if not as well for yourself!
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Format: Hardcover
"Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," by T.S. Eliot, is a book of poems about cats. The basis for the wildly successful musical "Cats," the book stands on its own as a delightful work of literature. The poems are accompanied by wonderful illustrations by Edward Gorey.
This book is hilarious and very enjoyable. Eliot's words leap and dance across the pages with a zany musicality. Gorey's accompanying artwork is whimsical and full of interesting details. Eliot has created some great feline characters: the fearsome Growltiger, dapper Bustopher Jones, Magical Mr. Mistoffelees, and more.
Yes, these poems are great fun to read. But if you are inclined to look closer and analyze them at a deeper literary level, you will find that each one is a masterpiece of poetic craftsmanship. Eliot uses a wonderful variety of meters, rhyme schemes, and various poetic effects. Each poem stands on its own, and together they form an effective artistic unity.
Also noteworthy is the very "English" flavor of the book, which Eliot achieves by spicing his poems with many references to English geography and cultural history. Highly recommended, whether or not you like cats.
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Format: Hardcover
Edward Gorey brought this collection of T.S. Eliot's verse to life in a new way. I strongly recommend both this edition and the old illustrated edition with illustrations by Nicholas Bentley.

Gorey brings his wry humour and pathos to bear on poetry that deserves multiple interpretations. Bentley brought a more straight reading to the work, but did a great job nonetheless.

Also, HARD TO FIND but well worth it are the childrens' picture-book versions by Errol Le Cain of Growltiger's Last Stand with The Pekes and the Pollicles and the Song of the Jellicles and Mr Mistoffelees with Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer. These are stunning picture-books that I sought out to own as an adult with no kids and no intention of having any, simply because I loved them.
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Format: Paperback
I read this collection because I found it in a book of collected poems, etc. I was really interested in "Murder in the Cathedral."

Well, I read this collection of poems regarding cats with great interest. Partly because I do like cats, and also because I am of English descent. T.S. has his English cats down to a "T". Naming them is great fun and his cat names are GREAT. His desciption of their behaviour and antics pretty much lets you know he has been introduced to many a cat in his day. These cats almost come off the page and play with you, they are so true to life. Read this collection if you love cats and want a few moments of private recollection. No doubt you will recognize a cat you have known or are getting to know.
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Format: Hardcover
The poetry - well, there are many editions of the work the Andrew Lloyd-Webber made the most famous of Eliot's books. Gorey's illustrations bring the poems to life in a whole new way. This is a book for any collector, and a great introduction to one of the world's greatest illustrators.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely charming book. Of course, there are many versions of T.S. Eliot's wonderful collection of poems about cats, but the artist in this version makes this one stand out above the rest. All the images capture the essence of cats in a way that is sure to make any cat lover smile. There is so much detail in the drawings and so much humor, the book would be worth it for the images alone. Coupled with the poetry of T.S. Eliot makes it all the more worth having. A great way to introduce children of any age to a great poet.
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Format: Paperback
If you like CATS, cats, poetry or reading this is the book for you. You will fall in love with the witty rhymes,simple illustrations, and lovable characters. I've never heard such clever rhymes in either Shakespeare or Dr.Seuss. I love the musical and the book!Even my mother loves this book!
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Format: Hardcover
If are a lover of cats, or have enjoyed the musical "Cats", or appreciate masterful poetry, or even a student of modernism, you will fall for "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S Eliot ("The Wasteland" "The Lovesong of J.Alfred Prufrock").
However, I especially recommend this book to parents who read to their children. Imagine an older and more conservative grand-master poet focusing his skills in rhythm, rhyme and content into a book of lyrics suitable for 5-year-olds. What you get is a book that not only has the sonority and imagination, combined with an appealing subject matter ( a diverse group of antropomorphized cats), for the children, but also is dense enough to be enjoyable repeated reading for the parent (Who of you still gets turned on by "Green Eggs and Ham"?), and challenging stimulation for the child.
If you have a son or daughter who loves cats,this book is a must buy!
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