Claw the System by Francesco Marciuliano

Book Review


Claw the System: Poems from the Cat UprisingBook Genre:  Poems, Humor

Book Series: N/A

Released: 10/16/18 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 112 Price: $12.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review. 

Book Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Could Pee on This, Francesco Marciuliano, comes a lesson from cats in resistance. 

Cats are done with humans’ crap. For too long they have put up with baby talk, the humiliation of holiday costumes, and the social injustice of being told, “No.” They will not sleep through this anymore. We humans have woken the beast, and in this book they have gathered together to reclaim their voice, loudly and repeatedly until we pay attention. Watch the uprising unfold, through anthems such as “Redefine Terms,” “Accepted,” “Decide,” “A New Dawn,” and “Just What Do You Think You’re Doing?” Show support for your feline friends and try to understand why they’re so spitting mad.

My Review:

This was a cute and surprisingly appropriate book to read for our current political environment.  I found myself smiling at the cat-ish twist the poetic calls to rally against the man.  The poems were meant to be tongue-in-cheek but I took the sentiment to heart for many of them and found them recharging my political batteries. The pictures were fun and complimented the poems purrfectly.   The book was a little laggy on my e-reader so definitely pick this one up in print.  It is a cute book with poems and pictures to please both your cat-loving friends and clever enough to peak your political friend’s intellect.

My Rating:4 Stars


ARC Poems about Cats by Yasmine Surovec

Poems about Cats

Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Published 4/7/15

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Author’s SiteAmazonBarnes and Noble

Book Synopsis:

Cats have long been an inspiration to artists and poets. In this heartwarming collection, artist Yasmine Surovec of presents an illustrated anthology of literary adulation and poetic tributes to the always-alluring, ever-beloved cat.

From Shakespeare to Blake to Rosetti to Wordsworth to classic nursery rhymes, cats have been celebrated in poetry for as long as they have been warming laps. Cats are mysterious, adorable, finicky, and cherished; and they have been beloved muses for some of our most renowned poets, writers, and artists. This inspired collection presents treasured poems and nursery rhymes illustrated with the whimsical, irresistible art of Yasmine Surovec.

My Review:

I saw this book pop up on Net Galley the other day and being it was a ‘read now’ title I decided to take a chance.  I now recognize the artist, Ms. Surovec, but at the time did not put two and two together to come up with the creator of many an online meme about cats that I’ve enjoyed.

This is a fairly short book and there isn’t a whole heck of a lot I have to say about it.  I did find it enjoyable and lovely to look at.  The book is quite clever, and beautifully illustrated, although I think it might be more enjoyable in print form.  The pictures that go along with the poems are mostly two pages wide and they end up cut in half on an e-reader.  The poems are an eclectic collection ranging from nursery rhymes to sonnets.  There are bound to be ones you recognize and enjoy.  A print version of this book would make a nice gift for that cat lover in your life.

My Rating : 3 Stars

Wilderman’s Treetop Tales by Chad Elliott – 5 Stars

Wilderman's Treetop Tales


Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Children’s book, publish date: 11/28/14

I own a copy of this book

Book Synopsis:

Wilderman’s Treetop Tales is a collection of whimsical lyrics and paintings created by International award-winning songwriter, Chad Elliott. Think, “Shel Silverstein,” with more color. The book is designed for ages 3-10 and contains both heartwarming and giggle-worthy poetry accompanied by Chad’s own illustrations.

Don’t forget to check out the album that accompanies the book! Chad, who has been performing original songs for 20 years and is a winner of the Woody Guthrie Song contest, brings 10 of the lyrics from the book to life in the companion music album, sold separately and also titled Wilderman’s Treetop Tales.

Together, the book and album create an interdisciplinary offering of art, music and writing which allows the whole family to embrace wild imagination. Learn more about the project at

My Review:

Well I’m sort of at a loss how to begin being this is my first review for a children’s book, but I guess there is a first for everything.  This is Read What I Like blog in case you thought you stumbled into the wrong site.  A little bit of why I am reviewing this book.  Almost twenty years ago, gosh I feel old…, I attended college with Mr. Elliott, we are both former art majors.  Chad graduated and continues to produce beautiful works in clay and paint along with starting a successful career in music and is now a publish author (as if he wasn’t talented enough).   I on the other hand didn’t do much for many years until I rediscovered my love of book and reading and am now a librarian and book blogger.  One of us put our degree to good use.  I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Chad had written a book and am pleased to finally have a copy that I can review and hopefully help others discover this delightful book.  Now on to the real review…

I recently attended a library program featuring Mr. Elliott where he was performing songs from his new album that accompanies his first book.  I did not pick up a copy of his album, not having anything to play it on anymore, but I did score a copy of his book.  The music and book compliment each other wonderfully though, so if you can, I suggest picking up both.  The children at the performance I attended were dancing and thoroughly enjoying the fun songs Elliott played.

The book is written and illustrated by Elliott and is full of beautiful vivid renditions of his artwork based on his lyrics/poems.   This is a self published book and I was impressed by the quality of these images. Working in a library and having read, although not reviewed, many children’s books publish through traditional publish houses I would have to say these are just as nicely printed.  The pictures are fun and children are going to enjoy picking out elements from the lines of lyrics.  My favorite picture in the book was of Toffle the Tomcat, the red sky is striking and I love the expression this gruff old barn cat conveys,. Elliot’s paintings has a very Van Gogh feeling to them (think The Starry Night phase of Van Gogh’s work) full of bold colors and interesting contrast.

The poems in the book, or lyrics, are quite clever and I’m sure children are going enjoy the rhyming and fun situations they bring to life.  The book contains a nice mix of fun and silly to more thoughtful and reflective poems.  My favorite here was titled Let the Moment Be.  I particularly enjoyed the message and feelings this poem conveyed.

As for a first book this was really well done.  I hope that Elliott continues to put more of his lyrics into paint and shares them with the world.  The book was a delight to read and I think it will be popular among both parents and children.  I look forward to seeing what Elliott publishes next.