Monday, February 23, 2009

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
Copyright 2008
Joanna Cotler Books,
an imprint of HarperCollins
Children (ages 9-12)/verse

148 pages

I went on a library run on Friday, allegedly just to drop off some of our excessive cookbook collection -- those that contain mostly recipes with too many ingredients we can't acquire in our backwards little town. Well, I did drop off the donations. But, I made the mistake of browsing, looking up a few titles in the library database and spending a little time in our library's perpetual sale corner.

Result: The bag didn't come home empty. Ah, well. I found Hate That Cat in the children's new releases, a little table that I invariably end up pawing through (oh, hahaha, that's kind of punny!). That bright red cover with the simple but obviously very grumpy cat made me smile. I flipped through the book and found what little I read funny and light, then on Friday night I read the entire book before turning out the light.

Did the book live up to the flip test? It certainly did. I needed something extremely light to read on Friday. I can't even remember why; maybe I was tired or got to bed late. Hate That Cat is actually a follow-up to the book Love That Dog, which was published in 2001. I didn't know that till I looked up the cover image, but it didn't surprise me because of the way the story is told. Hate That Cat is Jack's story, written apparently as a series of class assignments. Jack writes about how he loved his dog and hates the annoying and haughty neighborhood cat who drops nuts on his head, scratches Jack when he tries to help it down out of a tree and just generally bothers Jack. The cat has an attitude.

Eventually, though, Jack gets a kitten for Christmas and is shocked at how much he enjoys his new little friend. And, then the kitten disappears and he discovers something very surprising about the neighborhood feline. Hate That Cat is funny, sweet, touching and both surprising and predictable at the same time. I like the way the author patterned many of the verses after poems by well-known authors but told an original story.

Also acquired at the library: A used copy of Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murikami for a quarter. What a steal! I also checked out a Charles de Lint book that looks very light. We'll see if I get around to reading that one before it's due back at the library.

And, the weird thing is: I've been wafting past the "G" section and peering at the Newbery shelves, each time I go to the library, for months (the Newbery bit being a recent addition to my route). I never bothered to actually check the database in order to seek out Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. Surely one would eventually show up, right? Guess what? My library only has one copy -- ONE! -- of The Graveyard Book. It's a Newbery winner, people!!! And, they still don't have a copy of The Dead and The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This is why I own so many books. I need to move to a more civilized place. "More civilized" = "City with gigantic, extensive, diverse library stock". Like the library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I loved the Ann Arbor public libraries.

--End of Rant--

Also recently finished:

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick and
I Do Again by Cheryl and Jeff Scruggs

Hubby and I went for a walk in the Jewish cemetery to snap some photos, yesterday. You will surely understand why this is amongst my favorite headstones:

Off for my daily walk. Happy reading!

Bookfool in exercise duds


  1. Kafka on the Shore for a quarter! What a find!

    Hate That Cat sounds like my kind of book :)

  2. Maggie,

    Isn't she pretty? And, I like the idea of being able to read forever. It's a nice heavenly image.


    I know! When I saw Kafka on the Shore on the shelf, I thought, "No way!!" It's in very good condition, too, with just a tiny bit of shelf wear.

    Hate That Cat is fun. I love a book that makes me smile. If you read it, please let me know! I'd like to know what you think!

  3. Hate that Cat looks really cute. Your statue is beautiful.
    I think you will like Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. I read it this weekend and it is a quick read but enjoyable. :)

  4. Brittanie,

    Hate that Cat really is a fun little book. My statue thanks you. :)

    I think Book of a Thousand Days might be due back at the library in a couple days. I'd better check. This week I only have one book tour, so I need to take advantage and try to get ahead a little. Next week: four. Yeeks. It's really, really easy to overdo it on the First Wild books, isn't it?

  5. Hate That Cat sounds cute! I live in a tiny little town with a small library, but it's part of a consortium of 18 libraries, so it's pretty easy to find just about anything as long as I'm willing to put it on hold.

  6. Alyce,

    Hate That Cat is a smile-inducer. I really enjoyed it. I'm in a fairly small town but it's actually twice as populous as my hometown and has probably 1/3 the inventory. I think it's probably a budgeting issue more than anything.

  7. I loved Love That Dog and had no idea there was a sequel out. Thanks for the heads up!

  8. I've been casually watching for The Graveyard Book too. I could go and put it on reserve, but then I would have to add it to the stack already checked out and it probably wouldn't get read.

    And I believe the library system you really want is this one:

    Columbus Metropolitan Library has been ranked #1 in the nation for a number of years, and has recently earned a 5 star rating as well. It is the most wonderful place -- I don't even mind paying fines!

  9. Ali,

    You're welcome! I'm going to have to look up Love That Dog. I thought Hate That Cat was great.


    I'm afraid to look. I might drool all over my keyboard. Okay, I'll peek in a bit. I think the hardest thing about living in a place with a lousy library system is the fact that I've experienced better. I'm particularly horrified by the fact that there are no comfy chairs or cozy corners for little ones. Just low shelves and hard wooden chairs. Ick. Libraries should be inviting, at least for the youngsters, in my humble opinion.

  10. We just got a copy of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK today at work and I plan to snatch it up as soon as it is processed. It certainly pays off to be the library's cataloger!!!

  11. Amy,

    That's what I call an Unfair Advantage! I can't wait to hear your thoughts.

  12. I had to join the library this year because my finances are just not conductive to buying books this year, but I actually hate my library. I am a fantasy reader, and they never have fantasy! So, most of my library reading has been of the young adult variety. I am fuming currently because I just finished an excellent book (Black Ships by Jo Graham) and they don't have the sequel! That drives me so crazy, you have no idea!

  13. uh, to my rant from above... I apparently had my dates wrong. I am complaining about my library not having a book that isn't even released yet! Oops! I was thinking it came out the end of last year...

  14. Hate that Cat is one I have to get--it's on the book list for my May ya lit class--that month's genre is verse novels. I loved Love that Dog.

    I am reading The Graveyard Book now, as it is on the April reading list--that month's genre is horror/vampire. It's good so far.


  15. Kailana,

    Thanks for the laugh. I did similar when I ranted about Stephen Lawhead. Guess what? They have quite a few of his books at my library. I'm wondering if leaving out his middle initial kept him from showing up in the database, but I looked under both title and author when I looked for Hood, so something is screwy. I hope your library does get that book when it comes out. I know what you mean. Our doesn't carry much sci-fi and guess what my book-gobbling youngest loves most? Yep. Sucks.


    I forgot to look up Love That Dog when I was at the library, today. Darn. I'm sure you'll love Hate That Cat. It's really very sweet.

    Tell me when you review The Graveyard Book, would ya? I cannot keep up with that stupid Google Reader.

  16. Sounds like a cute book...even though I'm not sure how anyone can hate a cat!! :) Hope you like Kafka on the Shore. I just finished it last month and am dying to read more Murakami. A quarter is fantastic!!

  17. Anonymous6:00 AM

    I actually had a lesson in how to find something at the library - I have to share this! The Director was able to assist me since it's been a long time that I didn't search for fiction which is EASY. The computer says 'it is in nonfiction.' Yea, real helpful, right? But the coolest thing is... The director was wearing sequined red shiny pumps like in the Wizard of Oz with her dark sensible outfit. She is just too cool. You'd love her, she's a neat lady.
    Wow - this was a rambling comment. What were we talking about?

  18. Trish,

    He only thinks he hates cats. It's really a sweet book. I know, I don't get the concept of cat-hating, either. It'll be a while before I get to the Murikami, but I like him. He's got kind of a twisted mind and a knock-your-socks-off writing style, don't you think?


    That was probably the funniest comment I've read all week. :) My library's database just said there were no matches. I don't get that. Sometimes I find a book with no problem and sometimes they say there's nothing, but when you walk to the shelves to look . . . voila. No problem. So weird. I have noticed they carry a lot of titles in large print only.

  19. Will do. I'm only about halfway through The Graveyard Book--read All the Lovely Bad Ones (a ya ghost story) last night in one sitting.

  20. Uh-oh. Don't tell me things like that! Another one to look up. Sigh.

  21. I thought you would like that one. As for The Graveyard Book--I didn't finish it. I read about 100 pages and just didn't care what happened. I was disappointed because it started off well and hooked me but then just died out (no pun intended). I liked Coraline much better.

  22. Melissa,

    I went straight to PBS and added it to my wish list. Sigh. Like I need more. :) I'm sorry you didn't like The Graveyard Book! Neil Gaiman is iffy for me. Sometimes I love his books and other times I feel a little on the "nyeh" side. Coraline creeped me out.

  23. I'm glad you told me about this one! I love Sharon Creech, I love Love That Dog, except now I love cats. Hmmm, I'll still get this for my class.

  24. Bellezza,

    You'll like Hate That Cat, too. It's really very sweet. You should definitely get it for your classroom.


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