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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  20,114 ratings  ·  1,088 reviews
T. S. Eliot’s playful cat poems have delighted readers and cat lovers around the world ever since they were first published in 1939. They were originally composed for his godchildren, with Eliot posing as Old Possum himself, and later inspired the legendary musical Cats. Now with vibrant illustrations by the award-winning Axel Scheffler, this captivating edition makes a wo ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published October 19th 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1939)
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Judith Norris Did get it at the library. Read it Loved it! Finished now. Returned to library.
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,114 ratings  ·  1,088 reviews


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Fergus
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A CAT’S A CAT!

Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream;
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste -
He’s sure to have his personal taste.

A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
Laurel Hicks
Someone should set this to music.
Manny
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes cats and poetry
To My New Feline Friend

I know an Abyssinian
her name in French is Silicate

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)
Helene Jeppesen
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a cat-lover (as I am), then this is a must-read for you! This is a charming book written in verse, and each chapter is dedicated to a different kind of cat with its own kind of personality. This just goes to show how many personalities a cat can really have and I loved it :)
dianne
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Claire Wolff
Recommended to dianne by: Micha
Shelves: cats
Reminiscent of A.A. Milne's poetry, with fun imagery helped along by Edward Gorey's illustrations.
i tried to prolong each page, only letting myself read one cat a day.

Poor Tim, my love, i torture you
with all my silly rhymes...
He's patient, though it has to stop,
we've lived through harder times.

odd rules of friending a cat
"don't speak til spoken to"
quite unpredictable at that
this book i'm thumbing through

dear Eliot, i love your rhymes
in couplets or in sequence.
there's much i learn
each page i t
...more
Mitticus
Reto 10: Libro con un gato en la portada.

En verso juguetón , irónico, fantasioso, paródico e ingenioso T.S. Eliot traza una descripción de felinos disque domésticos. Dicen que tal vez se referia a ciertos personajes de su tiempo, tal vez a nosotros mismos, y hasta que hacia referencias a las creaciones de Kipling y Conan Doyle. Y , sin duda, que le debe ahora el ser mucho más conocido al musical de Lloyd Weber.
Pero, sea como sea, arranca reconocimiento a cualquier conocedor de gatos -amante o n
...more
نرگس پورمحمدیان رودسری
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to نرگس by: Narges Moini
خب این جذاب ترین کتاب غیرجدی از یه نویسندۀ جدی بود. کلی شخصیت داده بود به گربه ها که همه شون قابل تصور بودن. و از همین جا هزاران بوس به کادودهنده ش.

من ترجمه فارسیش رو دارم به اسم «گربه های اهل عمل» از جواد دانشآرا، نشر نیلوفر. به غایت ترجمه بد و مزخرفیه. شانس آوردم دوزبانه بود و انگلیسیش رو خوندم فقط. :)) اگه می خوای شعر وزن و قافیه داشته باشه، حداقل وزن و قافیه بلد باش. بعد حداقل کلمه هات یه کم هماهنگی داشته باشن. شما این رو به عنوان نمونه ببینید:

so for old Gumbie cat let us now give three che
...more
Jonfaith
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetshere
Something in my imagination has been restless. I have craved world building, esoteric codes, political machinations, something to offset the Bob Corkers of my mind. Treading along in endless bureaucracy with handymen and adjusters, I long for the Epic.

My wife and I have been rewatching every episode of Game of Thrones for the last two weeks or so. I am enjoying it much more when the narrative is compacted. I reflect on Delbruck and Braudel while listening to Tyrion.

I read a story by Scott Lync
...more
Teresa
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-eua, 5e, g-poesia
Gosto de poesia; gosto de gatos. Adorei este livro.
Mas, se não gostasse de poesia nem de gatos, de certeza que, mesmo assim, adoraria este livro.
Durante cerca de meia hora, pespegou-se-me um sorriso nos lábios que, periodicamente, desaparecia para ser trocado por uma gargalhada...
Quer os poemas, quer as ilustrações são lindos e divertidos e, embora T. S. Eliot os tivesse escrito para crianças, qualquer adulto se enternecerá com eles.
Um livro que recomendo a quem gosta de gatos e não só...

"Há nes
...more
Hussam H. Aql
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ديوان لطيف جدا :D
..لمحبي القطط
Petergiaquinta
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
So, I'm really more of a dog guy, and I don't know if that's the reason or if it was the horribly ridiculous musical or what, but despite considering T.S. Eliot as one of my favorite poets during my college days and despite owning a copy of this book for at least fifteen years, I'd never read these poems until today.

I'm curious what motivated Eliot to write these funny and clever little ditties for kitties--the writer feels more like Edward Lear than the elusive, erudite author of "The Hollow Me
...more
Leslie
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, nobel-winner
I had always thought of T.S. Eliot as a difficult and gloomy poet, so these poems were a revelation! Such light-hearted fun which really benefits from being read aloud & the Edward Gorey illustrations were marvelous too.
Rebecca
I plucked this from a Faber 90th anniversary display in my local library. A number of the names and rhymes were culturally familiar for me even though I’d not read it before. Many of the poems have refrains, so it’s easy to see why they lent themselves to use in a musical (Cats). “The Naming of Cats,” the first poem and one of the best known, tells us that every cat has a secret name known only to itself, so when it seems lost in “profound meditation” (what my husband and I call being “on standb ...more
Andrew
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It always raises a smile when I finally get to read something that has had so much influence and been referenced so many times and yet I had NOT a clue about it. True I knew it was from T S Eliot and that it was written for his younger family member but beyond that it was limited to the hype around the stage show and that was about it.

However once you start digging in to it you see so many more connections. Now ironically the copy I stumbled across was connected to the stage show however for me
...more
Anne ✨
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5) A cute collection of cat poetry by T.S. Elliot, and wonderful ink drawing illustrations by Edward Gorey. This book is the inspiration for the musical Cats! It's a quick read at 56 pages. I enjoyed the illustrations as much/if not more than the poems :)

My favorite poem was this one:
(excerpt)
The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat:
If you offer him pheasant he would rather have grouse.
If you put him in a house he would much prefer a flat,
If you put him on a mouse then he only wants a rat,
If you s
...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, own
Absolutely light-hearted and charming! I think I loved it so much because I could sing along to MaCavity and Rum Tum Tugger as often as I wished; I just didn't turn the page! These cats will give joy to so many for generations. All ages can smile at these rambunctious antics.
Serena.. Sery-ously?
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, eng-2018
Roberto Senesi ha fatto un miracolo, con la sua traduzione!

(In originale è stupendo, in italiano è incredibile!)
Adriana Scarpin
Macavity - The Mystery Cat

Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw--
For he's the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He's the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad's despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime--Macavity's not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there's no on like Macavity,
He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime--Macavity's not there!
You may seek him in the bas
...more
Книжни Криле
Две издания, два коренно различни превода и... две ревюта.

„Котките: практически наръчник от Стария опосум“ от Т. С. Елиът отдавна се счита за една от класиките на детската хумористична поезия, макар че книгата е не по-малко (а може би и дори още по-) популярна и сред възрастните читатели. И няма как да е иначе, след като някои от нейните закачливи рими са послужили за основа на знаменития мюзикъл „Котки“ на Андрю Лойд Уебър. Най-новото издание на книгата у нас е дело на изд. „Агата-А” и определе
...more
Tweedledum
Schrödinger's cat

Schrödinger's cat's a mystery cat, he illustrates the laws;
The complicated things he does have no apparent cause;
He baffles the determinist, and drives him to despair
For when they try to pin him down--the quantum cat's not there!

Schrödinger's cat's a mystery cat, he's given to random decisions;
His mass is slightly altered by a cloud of virtual kittens;
The vacuum fluctuations print his traces in the air
But if you try to find him, the quantum cat's not there!

Schrödinger's ca
...more
Kwoomac
This book was on my Recommendations book shelf, I hope because I'm a huge fan of Edward Gorey, not a crazy cat lady. Unfortunately for me, my library didn't have the edition that Gorey illustrated. So, I read this one. Actually, the illustrations were the only thing I enjoyed about the book. I felt like Eliot was trying too hard to be clever with the names and none of them worked for me. Cap'n Wussenfuss, now that would've been a good name but he didn't come up with that name, I did. They have n ...more
Coos Burton
Encontré el libro hace muy poco y no lo pensé dos veces, ya se me había escapado en una ocasión y no planeaba que me sucediera otra vez. Se trata de una hermosa colección de poemas sobre gatos con personalidades muy peculiares. Cada texto está acompañado por el lóbrego arte de Edward Gorey, y este fue el empuje que más me impulsó a comprar este libro, ya que es uno de mis artistas favoritos. Y por supuesto, siendo yo una cat lover sentí que no podía perdérmelo. Realmente lo disfruté muchísimo, e ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Sep 19, 2012 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cats
Recommended to Nathan "N.R." by: Cats
[Just like a BUMbersticker:]

Like this Review if you like cats but hate Cats (and can tell the dIFFérance).



the ReVue:
T.S. Elliot poetry about cats.

Edward Gorey drawings about cats.

Cats doing what cats do.

A winning trilogy of characters, that.
Connie
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, animals
I read this years ago before I saw the musical "Cats". The book is charming and funny, and really captures the personalities of the cats. It's a wonderful little book!
Vanja Petrović
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Najbolja knjiga ikada!

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Pl
...more
Florence Liu
Looking at the reviews of this book, I'm slightly ashamed to say that the only reason I read this collection of poetry was because of a musical. It's not because I wanted to read more of T.S. Eliot's amazing work, it's because I watched Cats. I am an Andrew Lloyd Webber junkie. It all started when I watched The Phantom of the Opera, and things just got worse when I watched cats. That being said, Andrew Lloyd Webber is also responsible for some of the books that are on my to-read list - this bein ...more
Davie Bennett
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little-known fact, this book of children's poetry by T.S. Eliot was the inspiration for the cringe-worthy Broadway musical, "Cats." Many of the poems are the lyrics, verbatim, for the show. But if you, like so many others, are revulsed or terrified by the thought of those cavorting, feline freaks on stage, well, just try and put it out of your mind. These are fun poems for kids, and would make great bedtime reading! Unless you are a dog family, in which case you should probably go with "Clifford ...more
Annette
Dedicate this to my furbaby, Annushka.

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Philip Dodd
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot a pleasant, pleasurable book to read. A book of light verse about cats. Not the kind of book I would normally read but I was drawn to it by the name of its author. Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot is one of my favourite poems. I came to like The Waste Land, too, once I came to understand the spiritual state in which it was written. I enjoyed listening to T.S. Eliot reading Macavity: The Mystery Cat, one of the best poems from Old Possum's Book ...more
Quo
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Long before Andrew Lloyd Webber's fabled musical, I read Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats to my sons and to one of them just after he was born, though I suspect the readings have had no lasting impact of them. These feline tales by Mr. Eliot stand as an interesting counterpoint to The Wasteland and Eliot's more serious musings and they have a kind of enduring charm for me, though they may seem rather dated & even ufunny to many others.

I am reminded of Fernando Pessoa's comment that withi
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse
  • The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense
  • Kid
  • The Iron Tonic: Or, A Winter Afternoon in Lonely Valley
  • The School for Cats
  • Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis
  • Tell Me the Truth about Love
  • How the Whale Became and Other Stories
  • The Rattle Bag
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2)
  • Collected Lyrics
  • You Read to Me, I'll Read to You
  • High Windows
  • Angus and the Cat
  • Collected Poems
3,465 followers
Thomas Stearns Eliot was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry." He wrote the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four Quartets; the plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party; and the essay Tradition and the Individ ...more
“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
74 likes
“With Cats, some say, one rule is true:
Don’t speak till you are spoken to.
Myself, I do not hold with that —
I say, you should ad-dress a Cat.
But always keep in mind that he
Resents familiarity.
I bow, and taking off my hat,
Ad-dress him in this form: O Cat!
But if he is the Cat next door,
Whom I have often met before
(He comes to see me in my flat)
I greet him with an oopsa Cat!
I think I've heard them call him James —
But we've not got so far as names.”
49 likes
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