BOOKS
I Hate My Cats (A Love Story)
illus. by Anna Pirolli. 40p. Chronicle. Oct. 2018. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781452165950.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 2—An ode to the charming quirks that define our feline friends. A slightly weary but bemused human narrator introduces readers to his two cats: Ginger, "the weird one," and Fred, "the lazy one." Orange tabby Ginger exhibits some oddball behaviors: purring at vegetables, chatting with pigeons, and occasionally missing the litter box. Black cat Fred enjoys sleeping on sweaters ("preferably white ones"), napping on the newspaper his human's trying to read, and casually knocking over vases. When the two cats inevitably invade their human's workspace, depicted as an artist's table strewn with paint, brushes, and pens, he yells "Stop it!" and the cats scatter. Feeling sheepish, the man leaves treats in their bowls as a mea culpa. By bedtime, the two furry scamps have forgiven him and make themselves quite comfortable—Fred nearly sitting on the man's head. "Oh, how I hate them!" the man exclaims in the find spread. The softly rounded shapes contrasted with elegant lines set against classic pre-war style décor give the visuals a sophisticated feel. Cali was clearly inspired by real-life pets, while Pirolli expertly captures both the haughty and goofy moods of Fred and Ginger.
VERDICT A wry read-aloud that would work well in storytime, especially thematic programs on cats or pets we love (or love to hate), and a must-have for anyone who treasures those oh-so-complicated love-hate relationships.

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