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Sugar Would Not Eat It

2.94  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Like children everywhere, Sugar the cat refuses to eat food she doesn’t like!

All children have heard their parents try to threaten, cajole, and guilt them into eating their vegetables. And it’s no different for Leo’s new cat, Sugar. She’s hungry, but when Leo generously gives her his last piece of birthday cake, Sugar will not eat it. Leo finally gives up. He fixes himself
Library Binding, 40 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Schwartz & Wade
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2.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  138 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Jun 12, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not a keeper. That Leo was a total jerk to the poor kitten, yelling at her and trying to force her to eat cake for two days before finally--accidentally--feeding her something mildly appropriate. Were there seriously no adults who could instruct this kid on the proper care of cats? His mother, perhaps? This book should be called Leo Should Not Own a Cat.
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let’s use a cake analogy. It seems appropriate for this title. Friends, nothing in this world is certain. When you make a cake you may use the choicest of ingredients and still end up with a soggy middle or burnt edges. The fact is, there’s always something you may find yourself failing to take into account. Now turn your attention to Sugar Would Not Eat It. Pedigree-wise, this book has everything going for it. Author Emily Jenkins has created a series of bedtime tales (Toys Go Out), picture boo ...more
May 19, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This book sucked on many levels.

1) The pictures were very stiff

2) The kids tries to get the cat to eat a piece of chocolate birthday cake. PETS CAN'T EAT CHOCOLATE! It will kill them. Now some kid is going to read this book, try to feed chocolate to their cat, and the cat will die. Way to be accurate.

3) The kid has a literal fit because the cat won't eat the dang cake. He screams at the cat and everyone else. Yeah, that's really cool, too. Scream at your pets. That always works.
I hate to give a book featuring a kitten a low rating but I am afraid that this book sets a very poor example for how to take care of a cat. The protagonist tries to feed the poor kitten chocolate cake, which is potentially lethal because of the chocolate. Even if the cake had no chocolate, cake is an extremely unhealthy food for cats to eat, even as occasional treats. Also, it seems that the protagonist starves the kitten for two days before allowing the poor thing to eat his own chicken sandwi ...more
Aug 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cat-stories
In this book a boy finds a kitten and then tries to force it to eat chocolate cake using every stereotypical parental cliché (You'll never grow up big and strong, starving kids in Africa, I slaved over it for hours, etc. etc.) What is the point of that?? First of all, chocolate is poisonous to cats so I at first thought that the book was going to be a lesson about that. But no, it was a lesson about... hmmm, I am actually not sure what it was meant to be since at the end he starts to torture the ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
First of all, I'm not fond of Giselle Potter's illustrations, but, since it's a cat book, I just had to read it. And I admit, she does draw that little kitten very cutely. The whole story, however, didn't make sense unless Leo was mentally deficient. Why force the cat to eat a piece of cake when the cat obviously isn't interested in it? And the kid looked old enough to know that cats eat meat. And surely any one of the many adults he consulted about the problem would have been able to tell him t ...more
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
You know I wanted to love a kitten book. But the people are drawn like King of the Hill characters. Creepy.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this book is a little ridiculous.
First, WHERE is the mother who we clearly see in the picture doing dishes, but ignoring this situation? Then, we have other adults giving terrible advice. Has no one in this town ever had a cat? Clearly someone knows about cats a little since he gets cat food at the end so their store has cat food in stock. (Sorry for the spoiler)
The only redeeming thing about this book is that I feel it teaches a good lesson about the futility of talking to your children
Ruth Ann
Mar 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a good book for kids.
Leo yells at the adorable kitten he found on a doorstep because the kitten will not eat a piece of his birthday cake.
First of all, one should NOT yell at pets.
Secondly, cats (and dogs) should not be fed cake and/or chocolate.
Thirdly, I'm wondering why none of the adults featured in this book let Leo know why Sugar is not interested in eating the cake.
By the time Sugar, the cat, is able to show Leo what he likes, the cat must be starving and want to get out of L
Heydi Smith
Aug 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skip-it
Just no!
Sarah Sammis
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harriet's favorite types of books fall into a small number of categories: books with characters named Harriet, books about cats, books about princesses and books about cute children. Sugar Would Not Eat by Emily Jenkins falls into categories one and two.

Leo has just had a birthday party with all his local neighbor friends. He made a chocolate cat with blue frosting roses. He has one piece left. He decides to share it with a small Prussian blue kitten he's found outside his apartment building. He
Maddie Watson
"Sugar Would Not Eat It" by Emily Jenkins and Giselle Potter is a sweet and cute story about a new addition to a family named Sugar. Sugar is a kitten that Leo finds sitting on his doorstep of his apartment and so he lets her in the house to try to feed her a piece of delicous, chocolate, leftover birthday cake, but Sugar would not eat it. Leo and all of his neighbors try to tell Sugar all of the reasons why she should eat the cake but she still won't eat it. Finally everyone has exhausted thems ...more
Kacie Blakley
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jenkins tells a likeable story in her picturebook Sugar Would Not Eat It. Sugar is a sweet little kitten that Leo, a young boy, finds outside of his home. Leo takes the kitten in and tries to feed her a piece of chocolate cake. Even though he tries so hard, Sugar absolutely refuses to eat the cake. Finally, Leo gives up and decides to eat a sandwich with a big glass of milk. Suddenly, Sugar excitedly jumps up on the counter and does something that surprises Leo.
This story can help children lear
Someone please rescue this cat and never allow this horrible boy to own an animal again. Good lord.
May 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2010, childrens, pets
This is a strange book. On the one hand, the story is absurd and really makes no sense. On the other hand, it is a social commentary on the futility of trying to force a child to eat and the power struggles that end up doing no one any good. The repetition is engaging for children and our girls saw right away that it was an inappropriate attempt to gain control over an animal. Not to mention the fact that chocolate cake (or chocolate anything, for that matter) could be very harmful for pets. Odd ...more
Amanda Osborne
Apr 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Did not like this book. Leo, who is a stupid brat, tries to force the kitten to eat chocolate cake...which would have killed her. He forces her to go hungry for two days and then FINALLY he accidentally feeds her by letting her eat his own chicken salad and drink his milk. And prior to that he picked her up and screamed at her. There was no admontion by any adults for his behavior and the meaning was utterly lost. It more endorsed treating animals badly than it did treating them well. Big thumbs ...more
What?! I saw this book recommended somewhere to help with kids who are super choosy eaters. Looking at it that way, the message it gave was that the parents are clearly mean awful people who are trying to force the kids things to eat that are clearly not meant for their species to eat! Like I'm standing over my kids and a bowl of grass and yelling at them to eat it! Obviously the cat isn't supposed to eat cake. Why would anyone feed him that? And finally he gets what is kore suited to him and he ...more
Rose Ann
This is, without a doubt, the dumbest children's book I have ever read. This boy "finds" a kitten on the doorstep of his apartment building, and takes possession of it. He tries to feed it leftover chocolate birthday cake, but "Sugar would not eat it." His "parent" looks on but offers no help, ditto the other adults in the story, who are clueless. Meanwhile several days go by, the kitten won't eat, and he "screams" at the kitten because it won't eat. Then our stupid protagonist figures it out. N ...more
This is a pretty funny book, and the story works very well with one exception. The whole cake thing is insane--the book would be much better if each time the kid offered the cat something different. His stupid insistance that the cat needed to eat the cake would spoil the book for a kid, because they'd lose interest. All of the clever reasons he gives the cat are not enough to keep interest--if the kids could also have different items of food to choose from the suspense would be increased.
Robert Beveridge
Emily Jenkins, Sugar Would Not Eat It (Schwartz and Wade, 2009)

Enchanting little book about a boy and a stray cat learning to get along. Jenkins' twist is the boy learning the proper method of feeding a cat, and how that differs from the proper method of feeding a boy. Some wonderful digs at the time-honored ways parents have tried (and, I assume, ultimately failed) have tried to get their kids to eat. And then you get to the last page, which seals the deal. Fantastic stuff, this. ****
A really cute picture book! After a little boy finds a kitten and names her Sugar he can not get her to eat his last piece of birthday cake. He looks for advice from all his neighbors who in turn tell him the ways their parent's would get them to eat their food. I found I had said many of these things to Lucy...haha!. Lucy definitely enjoyed the book.
I loved the art in this book and the shape of the writing was great, if you will, but some of the things that the boy says to Sugar, the cat (things he has heard adults say) ruined it for me. I know that the reader is supposed to contrast the boy's threats with the realities of cat care, but I wouldn't want my kid to be inspired by the not-very-nice things this boy shouts at his cat. :(
Charity Ambs
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture
Didactic. Felt the story was completely secondary to the message. Boy finds a cat and wants her to eat birthday cake. Cat refuses. Various people make all sorts of statements akin to what might be said to a parent trying to cajole a fussy child. Might work for two year-olds.
Jul 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This had a cute story. The boy in the book mimics the different ways that adults try to get children to eat food they don't want. In the end, he learns that he is feeding the cat food that is bad for her. There was nice pattern to the story and I liked how the text size varied.
Even though the reality is that cats should definitely not eat chocolate, Sugar is analogous to a picky eater. I'd pair this one up with "Super Taster" by TMBG when teaching the mindful tasting part of Mind Up (social-emotional awareness).
The story was frustrating - leave the poor cat alone! And the illustrations were just plain creepy (what was the idea behind Binkie, the creepy man-child sitting on the bench? So strange!). Not for us.
It kinda' bothers me that all these adults are encouraging a kid to feed a kitten chocolate cake. A lot.

Then again, I'm reading the book to a toddler and thankfully he won't try it.
Chocolate cake with blue icing would be a "cure all" favorite for many of mood; however, I understand why Sugar would not eat it. When in doubt, go with the native foods.
AR BL: 3.2
points 0.5
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Emily Jenkins is the author of many books for children, including the recent picture books Tiger and Badger, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay, and Princessland, illustrated by Yoko Tanaka. Her chapter books include the Toys series, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky; she is co-author of the Upside-down Magic series. Emily Jenkins lives in New York City.