Saturday, November 15, 2008

Love That Dog

I consider myself so lucky that I have the chance to pull books for displays and holds at the library. I stumble across some of the most interesting books. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech counts as one of those fascinating books. I found it on the shelves in our juvenile department, and it's probably designed for ages 11 and up.

Jack's a student in Miss Stretchberry's class, where they're studying poetry. He doesn't want to write poetry, because boys don't write poetry; girls do. And, throughout the book, Jack writes to his teacher, telling her about his attempts to write, attempts that improve over the course of the book, and become enjoyable attempts at poems. Each of Jack's notes is in the form of a poem, and the poems change depending on the current lessons. The reader can follow Jack's progress, and the lessons, while only seeing Jack's comments. To older readers, it's obvious the class has studied poems by Robert Frost, William Blake. And, finally, they study Walter Dean Myers, an author Jack loves enough to write to, following the urging of Miss Stretchberry.

Love That Dog is a wonderful book, whether or not the reader loves poetry. Creech succeeds on so many levels. Readers find out Jack's story as the book evolves. Jack's teacher is a wise woman, as evidenced by Jack's own writing. And, the book shows the power of poetry to change people.

For those of us who don't recognize all of the poems, Creech includes the poems studied by Jack and his classmates. I loved Jack, his poems, and his wise, unseen teacher. I can't wait to read the other Jack book, Hate That Cat.

Sharon Creech's website is

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. HarperCollins Children's Books, ©200l. ISBN 9780060292874 (hardcover), 112p.


Jen said...

How cute! I'm going to have to make note of this one for when my nephew gets a little older. I always keep my eyes peeled for book that are good for young boys. I don't want to do anything to deter the love he's already fostering for reading! :) Thanks, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Jen. It's a terrific book for boys, lots of fun. Spoiler, though - Jack does write about his dog that was hit by a car - that's the Love That Dog. But, it's a beautiful book. I'd read it before giving it to your nephew when he's ready.

L.J. Sellers said...

It sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

Lesa said...

I thought it was terrific, L.J. Of course, I was also pleased I recognized a couple of the poems Jack was talking about before reading the end. But, not all of them. I can't wait to read Hate That Cat. I have it on order.

wisteria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wisteria said...

I did a review on Hate That Cat for Harper Collins. It is equally as witty and humorous. I loved it.
Here is the link to my review on my blog Lesa,

Take care and have a great week.

Robert McCarty said...

Hi Lesa,
We would like to send you a review copy of our dog book for Christmas: Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, Volume 3 in the Planet of the Dogs series.
It's the true story of how the dogs came down from their planet to save Christmas

You can screen the book and read sample chapters on

You can read about our involvement in therapy dog reading programs at

We would be delighted to send the book -- or, if you wish, the series -- if you would email a postal address to us at
Happy Holidays,
Robetrt McCarty
Barking Planet Productions

Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog said...

Hi Lesa,
This book sounds wonderful! Dogs are powerful teachers and have amazing lessons to offer we humans if we just pay attention.

I'd love to send you a review copy of my book, "Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog." It is the true story of my dog who suffers a spinal injury, is custom fit for a doggie wheelchair and now 'walks 'n rolls."
You can read more about the book and view a moving video of Frankie on or view Frankie's blog at
Frankie is inspiring children all over the world to be compassionate and caring. She has also become a therapy dog bringing smiles and joy to the elderly, and hospital and hospice patients.
I would be honored to send the book for your review. If you are interested, just let me know where I can send a copy. Thank you.
Barbara Techel
Better known as "Frankie's Mom" :)