The Cat Came Back

I’d be lying if I claimed this was my son’s doll. It’s mine—and it always has been.


Last week, the inimitable (if maddeningly argumentative) Cricket Muse and I debated The Worst Picture Book Ever.

My choice for worst PB honors was the creepy treacle of Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever. Cricket, on the other hand, argued on behalf of the stranger danger anarchy of Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat.

You can read our arguments here.

It was quite a war of words (with a lively comment thread), but after all was said and done, Cricket sort-of graciously admitted defeat. There was no love for Love You Forever; Munsch’s magnum opus is without question, the worst PB ever written and perhaps the worst thing ever to appear on earth.

So I’m glad that settled.

Oh, and one more thing:


Please be aware that I’m not “woo”-ing because I’m ungracious in victory. I “woo” because I felt a deep and personal need to defend The Cat in the Hat from Cricket’s slander.

Even though I am no fan of cats in general (I’m terribly allergic and prefer the company of rodents), I have a special place in my heart for that particular feline. He and I have a history:

When my son, Alex, was a wee one, I would leave him notes at the breakfast table in sealed envelopes. One morning, I drew a Cat in the Hat in place of a stamp. Alex held onto it.


More than 20 years ago, I painted a Cat in the Hat mural for my nephew, Scott. The Cat is actual size, about seven feet tall. (Click image to see larger.)


I also own a cel from the 1971 Cat in the Hat TV special. Remember that one?


And, well, I also like to read a lot.

So, to reiterate:



Now onto news business!

What children’s book-related topic should Cricket and I debate next?

Leave your suggestions in the comments. The crazier the better! We do so love to argue ridiculous things!



38 Replies to “The Cat Came Back”

    1. Oh, Cricket, don’t get me wrong. TCITH was never a favorite of mine as a kid. Not at ALL. (Yet, I liked “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back” quite a bit.) IN fact, I wrote a post about how TCITH is a terrible book for a latchkey kid.

      That said, I like the book very much now. And most kids like the book, too.

      “Love You Forever” on the other hand…

  1. Great art work, Mike. So, are you going to tell us about the mural you drew in your dining room? You know, the one with Brussel sprouts.
    I’m not a great debater either (like Brad says, above). I hear two sides of the coin and toss them up to figure out which one is better. 🙂 Although finding fault with Dr. Seuss is kind of like finding fault with a children’s book god….

    1. The Brussels sprout mural has been delayed indefinitely.

      And, fiiine, you don’t like to take sides in a debate. But howzabout coming up with a debate *topic*…that you won’t take sides on? It’s only fair.

  2. Love your Cat memorabilia!

    Although debates can be subjective, in the world of simplicity, you could debate on best picture book, or take two very well known prolific authors and debate their merits. Or an old classic vs new contender..stories that went on too long…or ended too short, best ending, worst ending…you get the point.

  3. I loved Dr. Seuss as a child and as an adult reading them to my sons. My husband on the other hand would deliberately try to get out of reading Seuss and Berenstain Bears because there was a lot of reading. *RME*
    Although I love him dearly, he does not love to read. That really should have come up early on in the relationship.
    I have no children’s book topics for you though unless you want to debate pro and con Harry Potter. Or any fantasy series. Are fantasy series good for kids to read, helping them to dream and imagine, or are they bad, leading them to day dream when they should learn to be practical?

  4. Hmm, more proof. “Not a fan of cats”, and wait—you defend him here, yet previously you threw him out (paraphrase of your title) in your other Cat in the Hat post. Yes, thank you, ref. That is a yellow card for Mr. Allegra. Penalty noted.

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