Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Love That Dog & Hate That Cat

by Sharon Creech
Start Date: 21 October 2011
End Date: 21 October 2011

Love That Dog
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Joanna Cotler

Summary (from Goodreads):
"I guess it does
look like a poem
when you see it
typed up
like that."

Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, won't stop giving her class poetry assignments -- and Jack can't avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns he does have something to say.
With a fresh and deceptively simple style, acclaimed author Sharon Creech tells a story with enormous heart. Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack's point of view, Love That Dog shows how one boy finds his own voice with the help of a teacher, a writer, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog.

Hate That Cat
Hardcover, 148 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Joanna Cotler

Summary (from Goodreads):
Room 204—Miss Stretchberry

February 25

Today the fat black cat
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
in a

I hate that cat.

This is the story of
and cat.

My Review:
I never thought
I liked

But I guess
I forgot
about these

because I love these books.

no matter
Sharon Creech
a genius.

I first read Love That Dog in elementary school, and although I realize now that I didn't fully understand or appreciate it, I loved it. I've reread it many times since then, and my fondness for it has only increased over time. Throughout the two novels, Jack, who at the beginning is reluctant to share anything about himself, finds his voice and a love for poetry in a story at once both hearbreaking and heartwarming. I would quote the first few lines here, but it's impossible to stop once you've started.

Despite, or perhaps as result of its short length, every word is amazing. Creech gives us perfect insight into Jack's world, and his way of thinking. Told in a journal format, Jack responds to the poetry that his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, reads to the class, and through his responses, we see him slowly open up.

The books incorporate a lot a poetry, and I loved reading Jack's interpretation of them. In Love That Dog, I got my first taste of an appreciation for poetry. Last year, my English class spent several months analyzing poetry, and now I can read the book from a totally different point of view. Whether you know about poetry or not, you will love the way it's incorporated in Love That Dog.

Of the two, I prefer Love That Dog. In Love That Dog, Jack goes through a remarkable transformation. In Hate That Cat, he continues to grow and develop, but the leap has already occurred. In Love That Dog, Jack finds himself through poetry; in Hate That Cat, Jack finds his love for poetry through his experiences. Nonetheless, both are works of art.

Overall Thoughts: Somehow, I can't seem to find the words to describe the magic of these books. But please, give them a try. Even if you don't generally like verse novels (like me), they are wonderful.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...