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Love That Dog Paperback – March 1, 2001
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This winning, accessible book is truly remarkable in that Creech lets us witness firsthand how words can open doors to the soul. And this from a boy who asks, "Why doesn't the person just / keep going if he's got / so many miles to go / before he sleeps?" (Ages 8 to 12) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The story pulls details from eight poems. In September, Jack, the child narrator in Miss Stretchberry's Room 105, can't understand an unnamed "poem about/the red wheelbarrow/and the white chickens" (William Carlos Williams). In October, a few pages later, he fails to grasp "the tiger tiger burning bright poem/but at least it sounded good in my ears" (William Blake). By January, he's concluded that "Mr. Robert Frost/ who wrote/about the pasture/ was also the one/ who wrote about/ those snowy woods/ and the miles to go/ before he sleeps---well!"
That is also the month Jack writes a poem about his family's trip to the dog pound. There, he chose from among "big and small/ fat and skinny/ some of them/ hiding in the corner/ but most of them bark-bark-barking and/ jumping up against the wire cage" a yellow dog standing "with his paws curled around the wire/and his long red tongue/ hanging out".
By March, Jack has waxed enthusiastic about a poem by "Mr. Walter Dean Myers/ the best best BEST/ poem/ever." He has even related it to his experience with the yellow dog, whom he named Sky. In April, Jack writes to Mr. Walter Dean Myers. And in May the poet agrees to visit the school. As Mr. Walter Dean Myers reads poems to the class on June 1, Jack finds "All of my blood/in my veins/ was bubbling/and all of the thoughts/ in my head/ were buzzing." That's about how it feels to love a poem.
Several other important details make this book a keeper--not least, what happened to Jack's dog, and his closing poem.
At the end, Creech shares the eight poems to which she refers throughout: William Carlos Williams' "Red Wheelbarrow," Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Pasture," William Blake's "Tiger," Valerie Worth's "dog," Arnold Adoff's "Street Music," S.C. Rigg's "The Apple," and Walter Dean Myers' "Love That Boy."
If you want children to love poems, just give them this one. Alyssa A. Lappen
However, in reading this book we are to believe that the poems are written by a young elementary student. In all honesty, Jack's attempts read very much like prose that is simply rearranged on the page with poetry-like line breaks. Students I have worked with through the years are capable of so much more!
So, while I LOVE this book and will continue to use it in my classroom, I certainly don't intend to neglect other poetry books that have delighted and inspired my young creative writers such as: ALL THE SMALL POEMS by Valerie Worth and LITTLE DOG POEMS by Kristine O'Connell George. LITTLE DOG POEMS, in combination with LOVE THAT DOG, is particularly powerful since these short poems are not only about a much-loved dog, but are also written in a first-person child's voice.
Worth, George, and other many other poets are needed in the "mix" to help young writers and readers understand that poetry is not *just* short lines and a lot of white space -- but that poetry is also about metaphor, imagery, and some of the amazing and surprising connections that can be made through lanaguage when we write poetry.
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