These playful verses by a celebrated poet have delighted readers and cat lovers around the world ever since they were gathered for publication in 1939. As Valerie Eliot has pointed out, there are a number of references to cats in T.S. Eliot's work, but it was to his godchildren, particularly Tom Faber and Alison Tandy, in the 1930s, that he first revealed himself as "Old Possum" and for whom he composed his poems.
"The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES."
And pure T. S. Eliot, of course.
A riveting read. 4 stars!
This is a delightful book on its own, without the music (although if you're familiar with the music, I dare you to read it without singing it). I'm not particularly a "cat person" but I recognized many cats that I've come across in my time. I can't wait to read it to my granddaughter!
The original had a rather unappealing cover design by the author himself while the renowned TS Bentley provided the interior illustrations: this 70th anniversary edition contains appealing pictures by Axel Scheffler, who has become a legend in the field of children’s books.
Most people have had a Macavity [he’s not there!] or a sleepy old Deuteronomy in their lives – this new edition of poems is a wonderful way to remember them.
It was an amusing little book with fun, kitty stories though was a touch racist in parts. After reading certain poems I watched YouTube clips of the Cats version and found they never quite fit what I had in my head. The tempo of the poems in the book is quite fast which obviously wouldn't always work in a musical.
I will now sit down with my wife and watch the whole musical to see how it all connects. A quick, entertaining read.