The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Book Review: Love That Dog

I’ve mentioned reading Sharon Creech’s book Love That Dog a couple of times now, but it recently occurred to me that I never got around to writing a review. I don’t want my blog to become a review blog, but when I read a book with my class or for my class, I will share some thoughts. This is the review for Love That Dog that I wrote for Goodreads, a social networking site for bibliophiles that I have finally started using.

I’ve long held an absurd aversion to poetry. I don’t really know why this is. In fact, there are several poems that I have enjoyed and appreciated, but I still felt like I didn’t like poetry as a genre.

And then a coworker bought this book for me. I read it in about 30 minutes and fell in love with the idea of a novel-in-verse. And then I started reading other works of poetry. And I started enjoying the act of teaching poetry to my fourth graders.

Another admission: I’ve never read any of Sharon Creech’s other books, but I love her as an author anyway. Go figure.

“Love That Dog” is a series of poetry journal entries by a boy named Jack who, much like me, started off saying he didn’t like poetry and then discovers that poetry is much more than rhyming words. Bit by bit, we learn about his dead dog, Sky, as Jack adapts poems he’s read to talk about his dog. The story culminates with a letter to Walter Dean Myers asking him to visit the school and share his works.

“Love That Dog” is beautifully simple and well-crafted. I can hardly wait to read the sequel, “Hate That Cat”!

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