Review posted May 25, 2009.
Joanna Cotler Books (HarperCollins), 2008. 153 pages.
Hooray! Miss Stretchberry moved up a grade, and Jack is in her class once again! This wonderful follow-up to Love That Dog features Jack doing further explorations with poetry as well as coming to terms with the cat next door.
Hate That Cat plays with language, as Jack writes poems in the style of poets like William Carlos Williams, Walter Dean Myers, and even Edgar Allen Poe. (The example poems are included at the back.)
This is a wonderful exploration of what you can do with poetry, but along the way it tells a heart-warming story about Jack, who still misses his dog, Sky.
Here's a wonderful poem Jack writes about his mother, who is deaf:
SILENT SOUNDS OF MOM
(Inspired by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe)
See her hands in the air
waving here waving there!
What flickering formations
those compositions dare!
How she sing sing sings
in a swish and a bound
bringing sound sound sound
To the silence of the air
to the silentabulation of the hush
and the hums
of the air, air, air, air,
air, air, air--
of the humming and the hushing
of the air.
This book doesn't take long to read, but it will inspire even an adult reader to look at poetry in a new way.