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Sugar Would Not Eat It

Sugar Would Not Eat It

1.0 1
by Giselle Potter, Emily Jenkins

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Like children everywhere, Sugar the cat refuses to eat food she doesn’t like!

All children have heard their parents try to threaten, cajole, and guilt them into eating their vegetables. And it’s no different for Leo’s new cat, Sugar. She’s hungry, but when Leo generously gives her his last piece of birthday cake, Sugar will


Like children everywhere, Sugar the cat refuses to eat food she doesn’t like!

All children have heard their parents try to threaten, cajole, and guilt them into eating their vegetables. And it’s no different for Leo’s new cat, Sugar. She’s hungry, but when Leo generously gives her his last piece of birthday cake, Sugar will not eat it. Leo finally gives up. He fixes himself a chicken sandwich and some milk. Suddenly, guess who is up on the counter, nibbling at Leo’s sandwich?

Features a great cast of neighborhood characters—each with their own tidbit of advice—that is also the perfect tool for parents to use with children to talk about food.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Temple Grandin
Sugar Would Not Eat It…is interesting and funny, and the illustrations are rich and wonderful with lots of detail…for children who are just beginning to read, not to mention cat lovers of any age, Sugar Would Not Eat It is a charmer.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Who would be nuts enough to pass up a piece of chocolate birthday cake-with blue frosting roses, yet? But a stray kitten found by Leo seems to possess all the maddening intransigence of Bartleby the Scrivener. It never occurs to Leo or the adults in his tight-knit urban community that cats and cake don't mix. Instead, everyone offers Leo advice based on the parental cajoling and nagging they heard as picky-eater kids long ago-all of which is channeled by Leo to great comic effect. "It took me two hours to bake this cake, and another hour to do the frosting roses," he kvetches to Sugar, after Jimmy the coffee-cart guy suggests a guilt trip: "All that, and now you're not interested?" While Sugar's lack of affect is well served by Potter's (The Boy Who Loved Words) flat, naïf style, the Diane Arbus-styled characters, coupled with Jenkins's (Toys Go Out) poker-faced ironies, may not play to mainstream tastes. For readers who like their humor on the wry side, however, Leo's exercise should make a precise and highly satisfying hit on the funny bone. Ages 4-8. (May)

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Children's Literature - Jillian Hurst
When Leo finds a sweet little kitten on the steps outside of his building, he decides to take her inside to give her shelter and food. Leo names the kitten Sugar. He doesn't know much about cats, but it seems as if Sugar loves to do cat-like things—sleeping, purring, playing with string. Leo decides Sugar must like to eat as well, so he puts out some birthday cake for her. However, Sugar does not seem interested in the cake. In an attempt to get Sugar to eat the sweet treat, Leo takes the kitten and the cake around the neighborhood to get others' help and advice in getting Sugar to eat it. But despite their efforts, Sugar does not seem interested in eating the birthday cake. When Leo gives up and returns home to eat some lunch, he figures out that it isn't that Sugar doesn't want to eat—she just doesn't want to eat birthday cake! It seems there are many more lessons in store for Leo as he learns more about cats. Creative and colorful illustration chronicles the story of a boy learning how to take care of a new pet. While the repetition of key phrases is beneficial for children learning to read, the storyline is limited and leaves the reader wondering why the main character would try to feed a cat chocolate cake in the first place! This book would be good for a teacher to read to a classroom to stimulate student interaction, but it does not provide the reader with any insightful lessons. Reviewer: Jillian Hurst
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

The day after his birthday, Leo finds a stray kitten, takes her home, and names her Sugar. Although he does not know anything about felines, they get on well. But when Leo tries to feed Sugar leftover cake, she won't eat it. He seeks the expertise of various adult friends, who all offer advice that sounds not unlike the threats parents issue to their own fussy eaters. The boy cajoles, bargains, and warns, but the kitten will not eat the cake. It is hard not to question why Leo's mother, who observes her son's efforts from the sidelines, doesn't simply take him to the library for a book about pet care and put an end to the agony. Finally, he stumbles upon the appropriate food for Sugar and is optimistic about their future together. And then he decides to give the kitten a bath. While not exactly offering wisdom, this gently humorous book gives readers an empathetic link between themselves and tiny Sugar. Potter's distinctive illustrations, done in pencil, ink, gouache, gesso, and watercolor, incorporate plenty of color, with the repeated image of the blue-gray kitten dwarfed atop a dramatically red kitchen table establishing the premise of a small being facing down a larger entity.-Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA

Kirkus Reviews
A boy and a kitten engage in a battle of wills over feline food preferences. When Leo finds a lost kitten on his front steps, he names her Sugar, takes her home and offers her the last piece of his chocolate birthday cake with blue-frosting roses. Sugar won't eat it. Clueless about cats, Leo queries his adult neighbors for advice on how to make Sugar eat the cake. Everyone has opinions, but nothing works. Then a distraught Leo pours himself a glass of milk and makes a chicken sandwich-and Sugar gives him a quick lesson in cat cuisine. The standoff between Leo and Sugar is reinforced by repetition of the phrase "But Sugar would not eat it," rendered in large, bold typeface, while unusual perspectives and hot, bright colors create visual tension. Potter's intense pencil, ink, gouache, gesso and watercolor illustrations generate an aura of interrogation with tiny, solitary Sugar surrounded by Leo and his judgmental neighbors. Kids who are lectured at about what to eat will identify with stalwart Sugar, who knows what she likes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
11.06(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Emily Jenkins is the author of the recently published Toy Dance Party, and Toys Go Out, which received three starred reviews and was an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book. You can visit her on the Web at http://emilyjenkins.com/kidsbooks.html. She lives in Brooklyn.

Giselle Potter’s most recent book is Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene Field, called “a mesmerizing bedtime book” (Booklist). You can visit her on the Web at www.gisellepotter.com. She lives in Kingston, New York.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Sugar Would Not Eat It 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an angry and misinformed book! As an animal lover I was very disappointed that no one along the line pointed out that trying to feed animals chocolate can be DEADLY. For some cats and many dogs chocolate is toxic - unbelievable to me that no one along the line figured this out. I would never read this angry, harping, book to any child. I recommend that this book is removed from shelves. YUCK!