Review: ‘Christmas Crackers for Cats’ by Julie and John Hope

By oldenglishrose - Last updated: Monday, December 27, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Title: Christmas Crackers for Cats

Author: Julie and John Hope.  Illustrated by Sue Hellard

Published: Bantam, 2000, pp. 32.  First edition

Genre: Humour poetry

Blurb: This is a collection of limericks featuring cats and their antics, beautifully illustrated by Sue Hellard. You can learn your cat’s views on life—from why they lust hungrily after your pet canary to the art of turning your home into complete shambles.  (

When, where and why: This was another stocking present some years ago.  I’ve dipped into it before but never read it properly, so it counts as book 36/50 for my Books Off the Shelf Challenge.

What I thought: Christmas Crackers for Cats is an entertaining collection of limericks, with one longer poem in the style of Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales.  It is once again filled with the lovely comic illustrations of Sue Hellard which help to augment the humour, and is an amusing swift read.  Despite the title, the contents are not festive at all, so it could be read and enjoyed at any time of year.  I think that this was my favourite limerick:

A raunchy old tomcat called Bertie

Had a mind that was ever so dirty

Now his goolies have gone

He’s just one peeping Tom

So all he can do is get flirty.

This is of course accompanied by a picture of a lascivious looking cat enthusiastically assaulting a cushion.  I wish I could share some of these illustrations, but sadly I lack both camera and scanner (I’ll have to see what I can do about this in the new year).

However, unlike Christmas Carols for Cats, this book suffers a bit from being read cover to cover as the limericks, while entertaining, start to sound a little repetitive after the fifth one.  I would still recommend this book, but it’s definitely one to dip into rather than read straight through in one sitting.

Where this book goes: I’m putting this one back on the shelf next to Christmas Carols for Cats for whenever I feel like reading an amusing limerick.

Tea talk: I read this book while enjoying the same large pot of English Afternoon Tea.

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