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A Curious Collection of Cats by Betsy Franco

A Curious Collection of Cats

by Betsy Franco

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Thirty-four concrete poems about our feline friends are paired with colorful, attention-grabbing illustrations in A Curious Collection of Cats. From landing on their feet (in balancing act) to defending their territory (Prickles vs. the Golden Retriever and a tomcat's yard is his kingdom), the cats in Franco's book are true to form, affectionate and destructive by turn. My favorite of the lot is probably A Tree for Samantha:

"Some cats can sense the way you feel - my Sam was one of those.
She knew my sad, my angry, my bummed, my happy-down-to-my-toes.
The older she got, the slower she got - her life came to a close.
To honor her, we bought an oak. It's planted by the rose.
The oak is strong, and it will make good climbing when it grows.
But it will never guess I'm sad and kiss me on the nose."

But each selection in this entertaining picture-book has charm, and the entire collection makes for good read-aloud material. The poems take on the shape of what they describe, in clever designs that will keep young readers occupied, and the deep hues of Michael Wertz's art creates a sense of visual frenzy that is quite appropriate to the topic. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 18, 2013 |
Concrete poems are a new fave. Z actually enjoyed this volume more than the dog companion, which was a surprise. The art is great. ( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
This collection of poems is appealing both textually and visually. The author's use of descriptive language helps to paint a picture in the reader's mind. For example, one poem describes cats as "winter scarfs of fur." This demonstrates to the reader that cats can be clingy as well as comforting and warm. Each poem is also concrete-- meaning that the words are arranged in different shapes for visual appeal. For example, one poem about a cat's long and graceful tail is arranged in the shape of a question mark-- like a real cat's tail. Cat lovers everywhere will appreciate this collection of quirky poems!
  Kaihills | Mar 14, 2013 |
Although concrete poems make me a little dizzy, any cat lover, young or old, would enjoy this collection! The illustrations bring the poems to life, with swishing tails, stretches, laundry naps, and much more. ( )
  misscopaneca | Apr 17, 2011 |
The poems in this book are funny, but what really makes it great are the illustrations.The theme is cats, and there are all sorts of crazy wacky pictures that show the movement and the emotion of the poems.
  msampsel | Jan 21, 2011 |
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16 entertaining visual concrete poems (poems that are typeset in the shape of their subjects) capture the distinctively entertaining habits and attitudes of cats.

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