If Not for the Cat – Haiku by Jack Prelutsky and paintings by Ted Rand

If Not for the Cat – Haiku by Jack Prelutsky and paintings by Ted Rand
Publisher: Greenwillow Books/Harper Collins
Genre: Childrens (6+ yrs), Contemporary, Poetry, Animals
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Seventeen haiku composed by master poet Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by renowned artist Ted Rand ask you to think about seventeen favorite residents of the animal kingdom in a new way.

On these glorious and colorful pages you will meet a mouse, a skunk, a beaver, a hummingbird, ants, bald eagles, jellyfish, and many others. Who is who? The answer is right in front of you. But how can you tell? Think and wonder and look and puzzle it out!

A creature whispers:

If not for the cat,
And the scarcity of cheese,
I could be content.

Who is this creature?
What does it like to eat?
Can you solve the riddle?

How would life be if there wasn’t a cat?

This book doesn’t delve deeply on that subject, but what it does is show haiku about animals and makes the reader think. If not for the cat chasing him and the lack of cheese, the mouse would be happy. This book encourages discussion and has some beautiful paintings within.

I picked up this book thinking it might be a humorous book, but it was thought-provoking instead and I liked it. I liked how each haiku discusses the animal pictured and does it in a way that opens up discussion. What does the reader think?

The paintings are fantastic, and this book is good for younger readers or those being read to. It’s great for asking questions and wondering.

If you’re looking for something different, then this is the book for you.

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