Friday, May 8, 2009

Sugar Would Not Eat It

Jenkins, Emily. 2009. Sugar Would Not Eat It. Random House.

Disappointed. I am disappointed with this one. Confused as well. Maybe I just missed the point of this one completely. Maybe it's supposed to be a parody or satire. Maybe it's supposed to be funny. Maybe it's supposed to be ironic. Obviously it's not supposed to be taken at face value. But for me, it just didn't work. Here's the premise of this one. Leo finds a stray cat. He names the cat, "Sugar." He takes Sugar home. He likes Sugar. When it comes time to feeding her, he gives her a piece of chocolate cake with blue frosting roses. When Sugar doesn't eat it, he gets angry and frustrated. He rages at this cat. He goes to a handful of people--all adults I believe--who tell him stories about what they were told as children when they didn't want to eat what was on their plates. So he mimics their advice. Meanwhile, the cat is starving and Leo just keeps fuming and screaming. Granted I wanted to throw the book across the room by this point, but I kept reading. And eventually Leo mellows out a bit and Sugar gets some cat food.

To be fair to the book, I think it's mostly me. My mom liked it. She smiled in a few places. And she said she thought it was funny. My dad liked it too. Though neither gushed about it, both seemed to think it was a perfectly likable book. I think if you grew up having your parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles bossing you around and telling you what you HAD to eat, if these lectures were familiar to you, then maybe just maybe you'll appreciate it more than I did.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers


  1. It's not just you, Becky.
    I'm a huge Giselle Potter fan and *really* wanted to love this book, but I just didn't get it.

    (I had a hard time with the boy not knowing what cats eat, with sticking so stubbornly to one offering and getting frustrated so quickly but why wouldn't any of the adults know what cats eat?)

  2. This book depressed me -- it was so unfunny, grim and unimaginative. I couldn't figure out why the adults wouldn't help the cat and why the boy thought it might be a good idea to bathe the cat (cats are scared of water) at the end . I guess I'm not hip enough to appreciate such a hip book, but I am with you , Becky!

  3. I'm with you, Becky. This book was weird and callous, and just too hip for me , I guess.

  4. You make me so, so happy that I did not request this book. It sounds awful. Hey kids, let's read about starving a cat!