If Not for the Cat
A creature whispers:
If not for the cat,
And the scarcity of cheese,
I could be content.
Who is this creature?
What does it like to eat?
Can you solve the riddle?
Seventeen haiku composed by master poet Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by renowned artist Ted Rand ask you to think about seventeen favorite residents of the animal kingdom in a new way. On these glorious and colorf...more
We undulate, undulate,
No, no, my favorite:
I am slow I am.
Slowest of the slow I am.
In my tree I am.
Raucously we caw.
Your straw men do not fool us.
We burgle your corn.
Okay, so I love them all; these and all the others. This is a marvelous introduction to haiku for youngsters, and a treat for the adults who read them aloud and feast our eyes on the illust...more
He seemed to enjoy it, although not as much as me, of course. Several of the animals in the front were harder for him to recognize, but there were enough that he knew and felt confident about identifying when I asked him what they were. So,...more
There is no rhyming in the book and the poems are all very short. Most of them are only 3 lines and give of short message. The images match what is happening in the poem and the poem is used in order to help the reader figure out what...more
2. This is a book composed of 17 haiku by the author written in riddle format. These haiku cover different animals including a hummingbird, a skunk and a jellyfish. you are left to decide who is who, the answer is right in front of you.
3. (A) Area for comment: characterization/vocabulary
(B) The different characters used in this book make it very interesting and fun to read. Each character used in the haiku is different and each one is written in riddle format so yo...more
Summary: This book is a collection of seventeen poems written in haiku. Each poem presents a different animal and is accompanied by mixed-media illustrations.
Critique: The style of these poems is very successful. Johnson states in The Joy of Children’s Literature that “Poetry for children should convey the experiences and perceptions of the child in a way that is meaningful.” (p.232)Prelutsky meets that crite...more
Summary: This is a book of Haiku poems. Each page has a different animal with beautiful pictures.
a. This book is good for teaching Haiku’s. It has beautiful pictures and an index that explains what each poem is about.
b. Each page had a poem on it describing an animal. It’s fun to guess which animal the poem is describing. The illustration makes it easy to determine which animal the poem i...more
Source: Textbook (p. 237); Horn Book Fanfare List
If Not for the Cat, by Jack Prelutsky, is composed of seventeen haiku written in riddle format. Written from the perspective of various animals, Prelutsky captures the essence of each animal, making them easily identifiable from their descriptions. The reader must wonder and think which animal was in the haiku description.
Along with the written depictions, Prelutsky's words are paired with illustrations of vibr...more
Recommending Source: p. 241 in textbook
Review: Jack Prelutsky keeps you guessing with this clever book of poetry. Seventeen haikus describe a different animal. Ted Rand gives us answers to each riddle with his beautifully illustrated animals.
With the dust jacket being an exact match to the hard cover, we see a gray tabby cat with its face only several inches from a mouse looking directing at us sitting on its hind legs. With a light to dark border...more
Based on the title, it appears as if the story will be a typical rhyming poetry story, however it surprises the reader in a delightful way with descriptive haikus of particular animals. The book of poems gives away subtle hints as to which animal is being described, and the beautiful illustrations amongst the page confirm the reader's guess. The illustrations correlate perfectly with the animal being described, but I almost wish they could be...more
What I thought: Delightful! I never knew haiku had the possibility of being riddles, but Prelutsky showed me. These would be great to share with elementary school age children. Don't show the illustrations until they've guessed what creature. My favorite haiku are the elephant, the otter, the beaver, and the butterflies. The illustrations are gorgeous--so realistic and colorful. My favo...more
The problem with If Not for the Cat, Jack Prelutsky's marvelous book of guess-the-animal senryu, is that there's not nearly enough of it. It runs forty pages, which is about right for the preschool set, but couldn't we have done one senryu and awesome illustration per page, instead of giving each a two-page spread? Yes, this is very good stuff indeed, introducing toddlers not only to animals but to (pretty well-crafted) poetry as well. Sequel...more
We undulate, undulate,
"Don't think about it --
Just leave the vicinity
If you hear my tail."
The illustrations are a mix of sumi brush drawings in India ink, traditional watercolors, chalk, spatter and printmaking techniques done on watercolor paper and rice paper.
Another great picture book to use in a poetry unit. Students could create their own animal haiku poems as clues for other animals.
The book has really marvelous illustrations and 4 or 5 truly stunning haiku.
Highly recommended! Beautiful.
And having received this as a gift was even more special. Thanks Ms. Mac and your 'secret pals' initiative!