Here’s Another of Lucinda’s Cat Book Reviews

cat with glasses reading bookHello, two-legged readers. Your literate cat, Lucinda, is here to give you another of my cat book reviews.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. You two-leggeds do come up with some good ideas! I really like this holiday, as I also get to enjoy special treats. It is kind of you to share your food with your pets. We like to have a reason to celebrate, too, and some tasty morsels of turkey seem to me like a sufficient reason for a party.

This Week’s Book: The Cat in the Hat

In this post I will review Dr. Seuss’s book, The Cat in the Hat. When I first read the book, I was surprised that it was so easy to read. Then the Cantankerous Cat Lady (a.k.a. CCL) explained that it was written in very simple language so young children just learning to read could understand it.

Frankly, I wish more of your two-legged books were written this way, as they are much easier for me to read as well.

What Kind of Drawings Are These?

The drawings in the book bothered me at first. Then the CCL told me to look up “cartoon characters.” The drawings in The Cat in the Hat definitely appear to be the kind of made-up images you would find in a cartoon.

That information comforted me, as the cat looks like no cat I have ever seen. First of all, though we can occasionally stand on our hind legs, we walk on all fours. What kind of cat is this creature who walks on two legs? And the hat — no cat I know would willingly wear that hat.

Even worse is the necktie. Oh, I guess if you were used to wearing a collar it wouldn’t be so bad, but I don’t want to ever have to wear a collar. That bow tie is too much of a reminder for me.

Why So Many Rules?

One thing I do approve of in this story: The cat seems to be fond of breaking rules. He is a free spirit. He will not be hampered by any restrictions that others try to place on him. That behavior, at least, is cat-like.

Even the fish in the story thinks the rules must be obeyed. He is a fuddy-duddy fish. He likes his life to be calm and contained, and wants the world to be no bigger than his fishbowl. How does he stand it?

Cat taking a bow; removing hatOn the other hand, though I don’t like restrictions and I do like to do a bit of free roaming outside now and then, I love my routine. My CCL and I agree on a daily schedule, and I expect her to honor that schedule. For example, if it is time for a meal, she feeds me. If it is playtime, she plays with me. She is quite good at sticking to the schedule we have set up.

At least the cat must have been on his best behavior, because he didn’t eat the fish.

The Cat in the Hat Arrives at the House

In the story, Dick and Sally are bored. Their mother is out, and they are cooped up inside because it is raining.

The cat comes to visit and does his best to entertain the two little ones. They, however, have been so hampered by rules and regulations that they cannot just enjoy the mayhem. Instead, they are horrified. So is the fish, who tells the cat he needs to leave.

I must admit that, if I had been in the house with those children when the cat came to the door, I would have run and hid. No way would I want anything to do with such an unlikely cat. I’d have run to the mother’s bedroom and crawled under the bed. I would have hid in the farthest, darkest corner. Only a snake could have reached me.

Thankfully, the cat did not bring a snake with him. However, if he had sent a snake in after me, I would have done my best to kill it. Cats can kill snakes, you know.

Alarming Things Done By the Cat

Such interesting things that cat does — He balances on a big ball and grasps as many objects as he can. That, cat balancing on ball, holding many objectstoo, makes me wonder if he is really a cat. His front legs have extra-long toes, giving him the ability to pick up many objects. I do admire two-legged hands, as they can be used for so many things. If he really is a cat, how does he do so many uncatlike things?

So he’s balancing on the ball, holding many objects. Then he falls on his head. If I had been hiding under the bed, when he crashed to the floor, the loud noise would make me flinch, and then burrow deeper into my hidden corner.

Next, the cat balances the fish on the tip of an umbrella, and the fish keep scolding him. The cat ignores the fish, who probably didn’t realize how lucky he was that the cat didn’t just eat him.

New Characters Are Introduced

The cat brings in a big red box from outside. He opens it and releases two creatures. They have blue hair and red suits. Such an imagination! Have you ever seen such beings? They are introduced as Thing 1 and Thing 2.

My curiosity might have gotten the best of me, and I might have stolen out from under the bed to take a look at Thing 1 and Thing 2. Not really a good idea. I am small, so I have to survive by wits and caution. That’s why you two-leggeds say that curiosity killed the cat. I must keep my curiosity under control.

Again, the children watch in horror as the Things break many rules. They fly a kite in the house. They knock pictures off the wall. They even handle the mother’s new gown.

Then the fish sees the mother coming home. Dick catches Thing 1 and Thing 2 with a net and the cat puts them back in their box and takes them outside.

As Dick and Sally are trying to figure out how to explain the mess to their mother, the cat comes back in with a strange machine. In a flash, he cleans everything up with the machine and leaves before the mother comes in.

When she does, she asks the two children what they did while she was gone. The children are silent.

If you were in this situation, how would you answer your mother?

Of course, this is a completely made-up story. Not only did the characters look strange, but they also talk, even the cat and the fish.

Evaluation of the Story Characters

Of course, I can’t sniff this cat’s nose to learn what kind of animal he is. However, I can tell a lot by his actions. He is a rebel; a troublemaker who tries to convince others that he can be trusted. He is a trickster, working to corrupt the innocent. But at least he has spirit, and does whatever he feels is appropriate.

And, finally, he does what is right, cleaning up his mess so the children won’t get into lots of trouble.

The fish, now, lives in a world confined to the limits of his fishbowl. He just wants all to be the same, always. He believes that rules are meant to be followed to the letter. To me, he is a dull and uninspiring character. I would have eaten him when I had the chance.

Research from the CCL

My CCL has done a bit of research on the author of the book and wants to add a comment, so I gave her permission to do so.

Ad for Dr. Seuss with phantom figure standing on bookTheodor Geisel took the pen name of Dr. Seuss, and wrote the Cat in the Hat books. The first book, written in 1957, was created in response to a debate going on in the United States at the time. The debate was about ineffective traditional primers used to teach children to read. Geisel was to write a more entertaining one.

He was given a word list, and all the book’s words had to be on that list. He was so frustrated by the list that he scanned it to find words that rhymed. He decided he would create a story from the first two rhyming words he found on the list. These were cat and hat.

Geisel said that of all the books he had written, he was proudest of the Cat in the Hat, because it helped do away with the old Dick and Jane primers.

In Conclusion…

I hope you enjoyed this review. I’ll be writing another in a week or so. If you have a favorite children’s book you would like me to review, please mention it in the comment section at the end of the post.

If you have young two-leggeds just learning to read, you would do well to obtain a copy of this book. Here is a hard-cover edition of the book from Barnes and Noble, if you would like to purchase it.

The Cat in the HatThe Cat in the Hat

Hardcover

Price:  13.99


16 Responses to Here’s Another of Lucinda’s Cat Book Reviews

  1. Fredery says:

    The introduction was very interesting and unique lucinada, I love your writing skills, too. About the book. This is just a must read, it is a classic. I nephews do not get tired of it. They ask me to read them the book out loud every night. I have read it so many times that I almost know it back and forward.

    I highly recommend it. It worths every cent

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Thank you for your comments.  I will be sure to let Lucinda know that you directed your comments to her.  It is certainly a great kid’s book, and I agree that it has become a classic.  Just think — soon your nephews can read the book to you.

  2. Henry says:

    Hi! Thank you very much for this review about The Cat in the Hat! You made me go back in time and remember some of the books I also read of Dr. Seuss.

    But I had never read this one and decided to do a bit of research before buying! Your post has convinced me it will be a very good gift! I knew I would give a book but hadn’t decided which one. But now I have made up my mind! Thank you very much!

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Thanks for your comments.  The Cat in the Hat has almost become a classic of children’s books, don’t you think?  I love Dr. Seuss’s free-flowing imagination.  His books are so entertaining. 

  3. Vanna Denham says:

    Hi Lucinda,

    Happy holidays!  It’s really good to see your post, I talk so much about your blog.  

    This story is hilarious to me, I love animal stories and movies. I’ve probably seen all of the Disney animal films. Anytime animals are the stars, my oldest daughter and i want to watch.

    I like that the character had spirit but I’m not crazy about trouble makers. Rather my support always goes to the underdog. So I’m always cheering for the outcome to be in their favor.  I feel so sorry for the poor fish confined to the fish bowl who has no choice.  Adventurous or not, what can he do in a fish bowl, a fish tank yes, now you’re talking.  Thanks for tickling our imagination.

    The Cat In The Hat has survived for many many years, it’s a wonderful book.

    Thanks again!

    All the best,

    V. Pearl

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Your comments are much appreciated.  Lucinda will appreciate that you have addressed your comments to her.  I will be sure and let her know you sent them.  I agree with you — The Cat in the Hat is a force for good.

  4. Maria says:

    I loved your review! ! it is great and make me feel like if I was reading the book with you 🙂                                        Your comment about the fish is so fun, lol, “eaten it” lol lol. The truth is Dr Seuss collection is very good, I think not only for kids, also for adults. I like Dr. Seuss quotes, one of my favorite is “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”                                                                                                                                                                            Thank for your review 🙂

    • Fran Kelso says:

      I am so glad you liked Lucinda’s new review.  And, yes, I agree that the Dr. Seuss collection is great.  He has a wonderfully twisted imagination, and can give some enjoyment to all who read his books.

  5. Wayne says:

    Great review.  Cat in The Hat is one of the classic Dr. Seuss books and sold over 1,000.000 copies in it’s first three years.  I read this book to my own daughter when she was a child and, as I recall, She enjoyed it a lot.

    Do you think the Cat was trying to teach the children a lesson? I do.  I think the children learned a valuable lesson from this book, live life to the full and if you mess up, clean up/make it right.

    A couple of other interesting facts?  Dr. Seuss books have sold in access of 600 million copies worldwide in over 20 languages, from less than 12 books.  Totally amazing don’t you think?

    And, by the way, your post tell a good story as well.

    All teh best,

    Wayne

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Thanks for your comments.  Yes, of course the cat was trying to teach a lesson.  What a fun way to get lessons across!  Thanks for reading, and glad you liked it.

  6. Quinn says:

    Thank you for this wonderful review The Cat in the Hat is a really good book. This is a very well-known book and I really love your review the way you explain The Cat in the Hat is not really a cat because he walks on two legs. Thank you very much Lucindas cat books review.

     This was a very great review to read thank you again

    • Fran Kelso says:

      I am so glad you liked the review.  I will be sure to let Lucinda know that you enjoyed it.  I’ve wondered if “cat” in this case might be intended as slang…”That cat I met at the store last night…” It would explain the character a bit better if he could be seen as a person.

  7. Nancy Rainwater says:

    Ms. CCL, you’ve done it again! I’m beginning to believe that you were a cat in a previous life… Hee Hee! These book reviews are so much fun to read, but the whole time I’m also thinking: “Yes, that is exactly what a Cat would think & say.” This “Cat in the Hat” review might be my favorite… so far… but I do plan to go back & enjoy rereading the others, so I’ll get back to you on that. A Cat reviewing a book whose main character is a Cat is brilliant! Thank You once again!

    • Fran Kelso says:

      You know, Nancy, when I was young I used to always say I was a cat in a previous life. For one thing, if you startled me, I’d screech like a cat with its tail stepped on…so perhaps I was once a cat. Maybe that’s why I love them so much…ancestry showing through. I am glad to know you enjoyed this review. I had it all written, and after I went to bed last night, got to thinking about it, and this morning I rewrote part of it. Glad it worked!

  8. Vicki says:

    Hi Lucinda and thank you for another great review
    I tend to agree with you about the Cat in this book.
    He sure is different from the cats hanging around our neighbourhood, in fact, I have never seen anything like this type of cat.
    Maybe some strange breeding going on here

    Great review of one of my children’s favourite books so thanks Lucinda
    More, please

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Lucinda will be happy to receive your comments, Vicki. Glad you liked her review. I have to agree with you about the Cat. Maybe his mom got mixed up with some weird kind of polecat, and this guy was the result. He sure does know how to stir things up.

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