By Patrick Jennings
Illustrated by Michael Allen Austin
If ever there was a cat to rival Grumpy Cat, it’s Hissy Fitz. Hissy is aptly named as his first reaction to almost anyone and anything is an angry HSSSSSSSSSS! – usually because he’s being disturbed from a much loved nap. Hissy’s name is also a particularly clever play on the term “hissy fit” which is a slang term for a temper tantrum. (Fitz is the last name of his family).
Hissy feels justified in his bad temper as he’s living with a very noisy and boisterous family and has become sleep deprived. His girl human is eight-year-old Georgie who loves to pet him (which he loves) but also likes to talk, talk, talk while he’s trying to go to sleep (which he doesn’t love). Then there’s the father who is a carpenter and pounds loudly in his workshop all day. Finally, there are the 3-year-old twins, Zeb – “the untamed one”- who loves to constantly chase and torment Hissy, and Abe, the kind-hearted one, who actually seems to understand Hissy’s need for peace and quiet but still earns a HSSSSSSSSSS! every once in a while.
Whether indoors or outdoors, Hissy is continually denied his opportunities for a nap until he finally comes to the conclusion that “Humans are the noisiest creatures alive. I’m not sure that there is any escape.”
Beginning chapter book readers will giggle as they appreciate life from Hissy’s point of view complete with his cranky but clever commentary. Short chapters and snappy dialogue with amusing pencil illustrations that bring the story to life complement the plot and make this a perfect beginning chapter book for anyone – cat lover (or not)!
Recommended for Grades 2 – 3.
Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)