Verse novels feature very high on my list of favourite books. Titles like Dust by Karen Hesse, Farm Kid by Sherryl Clarke, Tom Jones Saves the World by Steven Herrick and Love that dog by Sharon Creech are among my most favourite books so I was particularly excited to see another title by Sharon Creech, Hate that cat when I recently visited a new local book shop.
Today was the first day of my holidays and as a treat I started the day by reading Hate that cat. It certainly did not disappoint. Following on from Love that dog, we again enter the marvellous English class of Miss Stretchberry – such a lovely name. Over the course of a term or perhaps a month or even a year, students read a wide range of poetry and we read Jack’s responses to this through his poetry but his responses are so much more than just a commentary on the poetry, through his writing Jack tells us so much about his family, his dog, his cat, his own emotional development and his view of the world. As in Love that dog the poems are presented in chronological order. I just re-read the poem from January 4th and it made me smile.
I have Love that dog as a tape and it is a treasured possession of mine. Sharon Creech also provides copies of all the poems that Miss Stretchberry uses in class and in this second book she also thoughtfully provides an extensive poetry reading list. I hope to buy some of these titles for our school library very soon.
I especially like the way Jack tries out the poetry forms after each lesson. The poems are also a conversation between Jack and his teacher :
And I think I understood
what you said about
not HAVING to be
in a poem
and how sometimes
they ENRICH a poem
they can also make a poem
Ha ha ha.
Students in Years 4-6 will love these two fabulous books. I wish I had time to really explore both of these with a class because there is so much to read and enjoy. Look for all the books by Sharon Creech in our school library you will not be disappointed.