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Poetry from Scratch: A Kitten's Book of Verse

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Hipster cats, stay-at-home-mom cats, windowsill cats, and outdoor cats—you’ll find them all here, immortalized in prose about, for, and sometimes by, cats. With a Brooklyn edge, author Jennifer McCartney ups the cool quotient on this burgeoning genre. Of Mice and Men There once was a cat who loved books He liked bookshelves that had lots of nooks He thought especially nice The Hipster cats, stay-at-home-mom cats, windowsill cats, and outdoor cats—you’ll find them all here, immortalized in prose about, for, and sometimes by, cats. With a Brooklyn edge, author Jennifer McCartney ups the cool quotient on this burgeoning genre. Of Mice and Men There once was a cat who loved books He liked bookshelves that had lots of nooks He thought especially nice The tomes about mice One page and the kitty was hooked   From limericks to beat poems, haikus to sonnets, riffs on famous verse to original blank verse, there is something here for every cat lover to enjoy. 


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Hipster cats, stay-at-home-mom cats, windowsill cats, and outdoor cats—you’ll find them all here, immortalized in prose about, for, and sometimes by, cats. With a Brooklyn edge, author Jennifer McCartney ups the cool quotient on this burgeoning genre. Of Mice and Men There once was a cat who loved books He liked bookshelves that had lots of nooks He thought especially nice The Hipster cats, stay-at-home-mom cats, windowsill cats, and outdoor cats—you’ll find them all here, immortalized in prose about, for, and sometimes by, cats. With a Brooklyn edge, author Jennifer McCartney ups the cool quotient on this burgeoning genre. Of Mice and Men There once was a cat who loved books He liked bookshelves that had lots of nooks He thought especially nice The tomes about mice One page and the kitty was hooked   From limericks to beat poems, haikus to sonnets, riffs on famous verse to original blank verse, there is something here for every cat lover to enjoy. 

30 review for Poetry from Scratch: A Kitten's Book of Verse

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    I read this out loud to my cat. He seemed to enjoy it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Delightful!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    "...Why do we even learn to read, if not to enjoy rhyming cat poetry?" When I first got this book in I didn't realize that the poetry would be poetry altered from famous works. I thought the re-writes were super cute. My favorites were the prose works and the small quotes attached to the works. "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats" -Albert Schweitzer

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tayler K

    Another flocked cover! (Though I think it should have included the cat paws, not just the title.) This is a lovely book. The adorable cat pictures on every spread were a lovely surprise and really made the reading experience fun, aside from just a themed study of poetry. The different sections were neat, and the poems in the section "Cat Verse Inspired by Famous Poems" were familiar enough to be fun even for someone who hasn't specifically studied poetry. In a way I think the cutest part was the Another flocked cover! (Though I think it should have included the cat paws, not just the title.) This is a lovely book. The adorable cat pictures on every spread were a lovely surprise and really made the reading experience fun, aside from just a themed study of poetry. The different sections were neat, and the poems in the section "Cat Verse Inspired by Famous Poems" were familiar enough to be fun even for someone who hasn't specifically studied poetry. In a way I think the cutest part was the introduction, though--that these poems are from a secluded library in a Milanese cat cafe, written by the feline residents thereof, printed by the owners for the library, and translated here to English for our enjoyment.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    Modeled after A Child's Book of Verse this poetry book collected by Jennifer McCartney includes poems based on classic works as well as new works all "written" by cats. According to the introduction these poems are written by the cats of the cafe Biblioteca Batto in Milan and our translated here into English for the first time. A fun book for anyone who loves cats. A great book for anyone who loves cats and poetry.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sue Williams

    A cute book of poetry "written" by cats.... or maybe by someone who knows cats very well. The pictures of cats are great. Those cats certainly aren't camera shy. A quick read to brighten any cat lovers day. I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Kleback

    Very cute & quick read Very cute & quick read

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    I happened to greatly enjoy and appreciate this book of cat poetry, but there is at least one thing wrong with the book, and that is the way that the book is framed as having been the first or only book of its kind.  Now, it must be admitted that books that purport to be by cats that express their own views in poetic forms are not a very common genre of literature, but at the same time this is at least the fourth such book I have read, the other three of which are by the same author [1].  To be I happened to greatly enjoy and appreciate this book of cat poetry, but there is at least one thing wrong with the book, and that is the way that the book is framed as having been the first or only book of its kind.  Now, it must be admitted that books that purport to be by cats that express their own views in poetic forms are not a very common genre of literature, but at the same time this is at least the fourth such book I have read, the other three of which are by the same author [1].  To be sure, the author may not have been aware of these books, but given that this book was published in 2016, at least some knowledge of or awareness of these other books would have been good.  There are likely at least a few readers like me whose fondness for this sort of book would be gratified by knowing that at least those writing such books are aware of each other and aware of their shared role as part of a community of authors that write for audiences of people interested in pets.  This may not be a large audience, but it is an audience that deserves to be recognized, at any rate. This book is a short one at about 100 pages in length and it is divided into several parts.  The book introduces with a typical sort of fake acknowledgement of the real cat authors and an amusing story that helps to give the poems some sort of provenance.  After this the author writes cat verse inspired by famous poems, which include poems by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Percy Shelley, Walt Whitman, Dylan Thomas, and others.  After that the author includes a set of free verse and beat poetry that is also genuinely enjoyable.  An entire section of odes devoted to things cats love like fresh litter boxes, sunbeams, a piece of string, and the corner of the book one is trying to read follows.  After this the book concludes with a set of amusing and entertaining rhyming verses, haiku, and limericks, as well as acknowledgements.  These are the sorts of poems that will likely be appreciated both by children as well as adult fans of cats, and it is difficult to know who will smile or laugh at them more.   Like any great collection of poetry, this book offers considerable more depth than may immediately meet the eye.  Although the author is not as interested as others are in portraying human beings through the use of animals, this book does at least have two layers of applicability and relevance for readers.  For one, the book offers a chance for cat lovers and animal lovers in general to vicariously enjoy trying to picture art and artistic endeavors through the eyes of pets.  It is likely only for the best when people practice their capacity for empathy through means such as writing poems or reading poems and enjoying them that purport to come from animals where the animals and their ways of thinking and behaving are viewed in compassionate and understanding and generous-minded ways.  Likewise, this book offers the reader the considerable pleasure of trying to spot the poems and recognize the poets whose work is being honored by being reinterpreted through the perspective of the anonymous and falsely attributed feline authors of these poems.  If these poems provoke any of the readers to take a look at the original poems that are being lovingly parodied here, it will likely have done poetry in general a considerable service. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen Elizabeth

    Going simply on the basis of the kitten on the cover, I just knew I was going to like this book. Wow, I love being right! According to the introduction, the poems were written by the cats of the cafe Biblioteca Batto in Milan "over the last hundred years or so" and "dutifully transcribed" by the cafe's owners over the generations. "I, of course, was immediately intrigued and...was able to secure the rights to translate the books into English for the first time..." states McCartney, revealing he Going simply on the basis of the kitten on the cover, I just knew I was going to like this book. Wow, I love being right! According to the introduction, the poems were written by the cats of the cafe Biblioteca Batto in Milan "over the last hundred years or so" and "dutifully transcribed" by the cafe's owners over the generations. "I, of course, was immediately intrigued and...was able to secure the rights to translate the books into English for the first time..." states McCartney, revealing herself as editor rather than author. This must be true, because no human could possibly know the minds of cats so well. My favorite part was first section, "Cat Verse Inspired By Famous Poems" or, "...some of your favorite poems, now with 100 percent more cats." You'll also find free verse, rhyming verse and limericks, haikus and more - all written from a cat-centric point of view. The single exception is the author's biographical sketch, which (also in the form of a poem) suggests that at least a few of the cats had a little assistance from Ms. McCartney. And if she didn't look so young in the picture, you might even believe it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    All the cats in this book are extremely cute, especially the tabby doing yoga. I really liked the verses inspired by famous poems; I thought they were translated really well into feline life. I didn’t quite like the free verse.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Harris

    A charming quick read, rewriting classic poems and styles.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelle Fathers

    Kittens write poetry! Who knew?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julieanne Baker

    cute but felt like she was kind of running out of ideas by the end... stretching some of the images and making puns for the sake of making puns. Still a fun read ^_^

  14. 5 out of 5

    January

    very cute. perfect gift for cat lovers!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mayda

    If I didn’t know better, I’d think these were the cats of human poets. (Two rodents diverged in a yellow wood. And sorry I could not pursue both. . . ) The kitties may have borrowed some form from human counterparts, but the content is pure cattish. The poetry ranges from sonnets to haiku to limericks. Illustrated with full color photos, this is a serious cat-poetry collection.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Halley

    The only reason I enjoyed this book was because I was able to recognize several of the original poems. But, me not being a poetry fanatic, I don't know if I got the full value of this book. Not as cute as I was hoping for. . but the pictures made up for that, partly!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alissa

    Cute. Just not AS cute as the "I Could Pee On This" series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pat

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amber

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber Funk

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alex Palmer

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Fohl

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rupa

  27. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  28. 5 out of 5

    Roberta

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danigerous

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vivian Lentchitsky

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