Novel: Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech; narrated by Scott Wolf (1 hour, 3 minutes)
Release Information: October 1, 2008 from HarperChildren’s Audio
Notes: This is a sequel. Read my review of the first book, Love that Dog. There is also a fabulous teaching guide for those interested.
Summary (from Audible):
up in the tree by the bus stop
dropped a nut on my head
and when I yelled at it
that fat black cat said
Thoughts: Like the first one, I loved listening to this book being read aloud. This book is both about and told in poetry and so the rhythms and sounds of each word and line are just as important as the overall story. However, sometimes poems are written with a visual component. Like the image of a chair using words, which is hard to describe (and I can’t find a picture), but does not translate well to the audio version.
However, the story is just as fantastic as the one in Love That Dog. Jack learns more about poetry, but Hate That Cat isn’t a rehashing of Love That Dog. Jack has to learn how to love a pet again after the death of his dog. He also has to deal with an uncle who has very stuffy ideas about what poetry is (and is not). But more than that, he struggles to understand what poetry means to his mother, who is deaf. Like the first one, this book made me laugh and cry in just the right amounts. I know I’ll be rereading this again and I’m looking forward to sharing them both with my nephew.
Moments I Loved: When Jack writes about signing the poetry reading for his mother. His struggle to understand her deafness and their love for each other is easily my favorite part of this book (and there are so many parts to love).
WTF Moments: Walter Dean Myers’ cat dies! Granted it was an old cat, but even though I’ve read this book many times, I am always surprised by this tiny detail.
Narrators: I like the narrator, but I had the same issues as I did in book one. The narrator sounded like a man reading in the voice of a child. It wasn’t quite cartoonish, but it was occasionally unsettling.
Overall: This is a fantastic followup to a fantastic novel in verse. All teachers should be required to read these books and I know that I’ll read them again.