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A Curious Collection of Cats

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The quirky ways of cats are exquisitely captured in more than thirty original visual poems. From acrobat-flipping to toilet-bowl-sipping, couch-scratching to dog-catching, this insightful collection celebrates the fickle feline in ways that any cat lover will appreciate.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by Tricycle Press (first published April 1st 2009)
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Betsy
I say to you, “Cats and poetry.” Now stop! Don’t think! What’s the first thing that just popped into your head? I would bet that a fair amount of you thought of T.S. Eliot and his improbable impossible felines (a certain generation of you could probably sing such poems as songs too). I suppose that this is an unfair reaction when you consider all the other cool cat-related sestinas, haikus, and limericks that exist out there. Surely the time has come for a book of cat-related poems that upsets t ...more
Lisa Vegan
Oct 10, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cat lovers; those who enjoy concrete poems
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
I would have enjoyed this a lot when I was a child, especially once I was an independent reader. As an adult I found myself getting irritated turning the pages and my eyes every which way in order to read the poems. But, the illustrations of the cats were mostly spot on, as was the content of most of the poetry. My favorite poem was probably the saddest one; it was about planting a tree in memory of a deceased cat. The mood of the poetry ranges from sad to sweet to funny. The illustrator and aut ...more
Rebecca
A Curious Collection of Cats/ Betsy Franco/ 2009

Genre: Animal Poetry

Format: Book

Summary: The quirky ways of cats are exquisitely captured in more than thirty original visual poems. From acrobat-flipping to toilet-bowl-sipping, couch-scratching to dog-catching, this insightful collection celebrates the fickle feline in ways that any cat lover will appreciate.

Considerations and Precautions: The way the words are incorporated into the poem could make it difficult for readers of any age to follow a
...more
Kaitlin
If you are a cat enthusiast, then this is the book for you. Poems are crawling all over the page with bright colors highlighting it. The words rhyme so well that you get a sense of completion after finishing each poem. Everyone hears stories about the various mannerisms of cats and many even watch videos of them in action. Well, this is a book of cat behavior written out for your enjoyment in a fun and creative way; through rhymes.
The poems twist and turn upside down on every page and makes rea
...more
Jesse German
I absolutely loved this book, mainly because I love cats. "A Curious Collection of Cats" was full of fun concrete poetry that was all about cats. I believe that this book would be entertaining to all children. I also loved the colors and fun style of text that was used. These poems were very engaging and even required you to rotate the book at points to follow certain poems that were in circular shapes.

I would use this collection of poems in my classroom to introduce concrete poetry. I would pr
...more
Kathy Leonard
Franco, Betsy. A Curious Collection of Cats (2009). This is a collection of concrete poems all with cats as the topic. The poems focus on all that cats do: play with paper bags, fight with dogs, hairballs, interesting cat tongues, and so on…The poems are short but are playful in language, content, and the diversity of what the cats are doing. My favorite poem is, “Veronica Goes Wide.” The words are colorful and the size of font emphasizes that the cat has grown over time. The illustration then a ...more
Becky
Every one of the 30 poems in this book show an aspect of cat behavior, oftentimes with humorous results. When Scooter is stalking a squirrel, the narrator asks if he really wants the squirrel. As Scooter shrinks back and runs away, the narrator taunts him, "Those squirrels are bold and toothy guys -- You must have thought that through. I guess you'd rather not find out what a squirrel could do to you."

The poems twist and turn, sometimes in a dizzying fashion. The poem "Princess" shows a cat loop
...more
Janet Squires
Concrete poems in a variety of forms from haiku to free verse celebrate the unique world of cats: righting themselves in a fall, confronting pesky squirrels, escaping dogs, etc. Feline manners and moods are mirrored by the shaped words and imbedded in the bold illustrations.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Loved this book! Concrete poems aren't easy to find, and I love that type of poetry. In this book in most of the poems the words don't necessarily form the shape; instead, the colorful illustrations (computer-generated) are created and the text is placed inside them. I would not consider those to be true concrete poems. Nevertheless, the poems themselves are cute, and Franco certainly knows her kitties. My favorites are "Tabitha's Tail," "Gonzo's Snack" (that's what my cats end up with!), "Cat H ...more
Amy
A bit hard to read aloud but as a read to yourself book it is very creative and might be inspiring to cat-loving poets. I liked many of the graphics a lot.
Heidi
I really liked that!! Which, yes, I'm surprised about because I've been very hesistant to read all of this Children's poetry. But this book was fun, creative, humorous, and really, really, um....neat. I apologize for lack of a better word. Perhaps I should say nifty?

I don't often see concrete poems. Probably because I don't read much poetry. But I remember liking them when I learned about them. And this was a very fun collection which, surprisingly, was not hard for me to figure out how to read.
...more
Marilyn
I struggle with poetry. I want to like it, but I'm not naturally drawn to it. This collection is up for the Utah Beehive Book Award. It is so clever and funny and the illustrations are great. Several poems we read over again because it told such a great story. None of these poems are printed with a typical font in typical poem-type placement on the page. You're turning the book every which way to read the poems and wondering if you're starting in the right place.
Bridget R. Wilson
Concrete poems are not my favorite form, but I liked these. Franco was very innovative in her interpretation of concrete. The illustrations were great. So colorful and no lines.

This collection has the charm of Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The illustrations are great—so colorful. I find it intriguing that there are no lines only color. My favorite poems are:

“Veronica Goes Wild”
“Fluff is Polydactyl”
“Ear Decorations”
“Binky’s Kittens”
Cheryl
This collection of visual poems, all focused on cats, is delightful. This collection is worth reading over and over again. There is so much going on with both the words and the pictures that you can find something new and intriguing with each re-reading. All aspects of the feline are topics for Franco's poems including hair balls, scratching, and toilet bowl sipping. This would be a great gift for a young cat lover.

Published 2009; poetry
Loretta Benenati
Published in 2009.

This is an adorable book of poems about all of the silly and unusual behaviors of cats. The poems cover the good and the bad traits of our feline friends and do so in a visually appealing way. The poetry is presented in a variety of fonts and appear to take the form of whatever the particular poem is describing. My daughter adores cats so she was an easy sell on this one. However, I think my students will love it as well!
Robin
Betsy Franco and Michael Wertz have created a fun, colorful, lovely book of poetry. The illustrations and text work together in such a clever way that kids and adults will surely enjoy this one. I read a few selections to my second grade classes, and they were rushing to check out the book next! As a cat lover I was excited about the subject matter, but even dog-people will appreciate the humor here.
Megan
Words and pictures work together in this collection of concrete poems about cats. Even non-poetry-people will appreciate these poems, although a few of the layouts made it difficult to figure out what words to read first. Most of these poems, however, would be good examples to show students learning to write concrete poetry.
Inge
Dec 22, 2009 Inge rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
Completely innovative and unlike anything I've seen in a long time. Very reminiscent of "The Mouse's Tale" chapter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The text is truly part of the art, not just a well-chosen font.
The poetry is clever, cute, and funny.
If this doesn't win the Caldecott, everyone is stupid.
Boni
I would probably have to give this five stars if I were a cat lover. Or even a cat liker. But I'm totally not.

The book is a very fun read (our favorite poem was That Cat Peed On My Hat), though I'll reserve my five stars for if Franco ever does A Delightful Digest of Dogs :)
Danielle
Well chosen words wrap and weave in this fun book that show the multiple personalities of cats. You will find many cats that you know in this book. Poems help create the picture. And as my sister pointed out, author Betsey Franco is mother cat to hip cat James.
Katharine Grubb Hawkinson
Fun! Bright, colorful, creative illustrations, with the poem text mixed in. What a pick-me-up book. I got it from the library, but I wish I owned this book! A couple great haiku poems, a limerick- short, long- it's all great fun. Cat personality at its best!
Maicie
Easy Reader.

A collection of cat poems. I especially liked the poem about the cat who got mad when left alone and peed on his owner's hat.

HS ideas:
ENGLISH: poetry, haiku
MATH: count the cats, mice, etc
SCIENCE: pet care, maybe? Animal behavior.
Patricia
On the contrary, I loved this title, and this sort of "concrete" poetry (poems in the shape of the subject matter) is always popular with kids, and often inspires them to try their own versions. I thought this was very cleverly done.
Jane
This is a visual fiesta and even though I'm not a cat person (they make me sneeze and wheeze something awful) I love how this captures Things About Cats. Funny, visual, quirky. And not a single wheeze or sneeze to be had.
Kris
Cool concrete poems - good to use along with "Technically, It's Not My Fault" by John Grandits for concrete poems, or to use in "Paws for Poetry" along with "Once I Ate a Pie" by Patricia and Emily MacLachlan and Katy Schneider.
Emily
A collection of concrete poems about cats. Sometimes the poems on the pages seem overly busy and hard to follow, but overall, it's a really nice example of a concrete poetry collection.
Sue
as i was shifting poetry books i came across this one - it is so cute and it also teaches a few of the poetry forms. i loved the colorful art and the poems reminded me of my cats!
Shannon
Jun 14, 2009 Shannon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Shannon by: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/b...
Shelves: 2009
A this point in the year, this is my pick for the Caldecott award. Concrete poems made from bright retro drawings -- what's not to love? Unless you're a dog person, I suppose.
Jennifer
A wonderful sweet series of concrete poems centered around cats. The illustrations are bright and fit each poem and its cat.
Maryann
I had a hard time reading this book. The poems and the visual appearance of the poems are creative, but very difficult to read.
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Betsy Franco has published more than eighty books, including three previous anthologies. She lives in Palo Alto, California.
More about Betsy Franco...
You Hear Me?: Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys Birdsongs Zero Is The Leaves On The Tree Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails: Patterns & Shapes . . . Naturally

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