Love That Dog, 2001
Hate That Cat, 2008
Rating for both: FIVE!
Two very special books, both written in verse, both with layer upon layer of witty writing, clever intertwining of poetry, and a healthy dose of a very cool relationship between a student and his teacher. I LOVED these books. I've read Love That Dog twice, and just knew that Hate That Cat couldn't come close. WRONG!!! So wrong....I think Hate That Cat is even better! Both are short reads, although Love That Dog is a bit shorter, and perhaps a little harder for some kids to get into. I read it aloud to my fourth graders after spending a week prepping them by sharing Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Pasture", William Carlos William's "The Red Wheelbarrow:, many of Valerie Worth's SHORT poems, William Blake's "The Tyger," Walter Dean Myer's "Love That Boy", and some of the poetry of Arnold Adoff. They were oh-so prepared, and they loved it. It was great fun to read aloud, and the kids' reactions were very gratifying.
Now I'm preparing the pre-poetry for Hate That Cat. There's more William Carlos Williams and Valerie Worth,with additional poems from Edgar Allan Poe, Alfred Lord Tennyson, T. S. Eliot ("The Naming of Cats"!!!), and Walter Dean Myer's son, Christopher. There's alliteration and onomotapoeia, similes and metaphors, rhythm and image. There's laugh-out-loud cleverness and a rolling, thought-provoking storyline.
I don't want to share the plots. They're a joy to watch unfold. They take 20-30 minutes each to read. Enjoy, enjoy.