Wednesday, July 12, 2006


ONCE I ATE A PIE by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest, illustrated by Katy Schneider (HarperCollins)
I swear to you, I am not just recommending this book because I fell under the hypnotic spell of the puggy puppy-dog eyes on the cover (at least, not only because of that). Fourteen free-verse poems capture all the enigmatic, indulgent and sometimes maddening qualities of kid's best friend. Take the small, appreciative phrasing in "Lucy," for example:

I was adopted from a shelter.
I love the couch. It is mine.
The chairs and bed are mine, too.
And the house.
At night I sleep between my owners.
They gave me a pillow of my own.

As was the case in the author's Newbery winner, SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL, she does an awful lot with a little, making every word count, and the text is further accentuated by varied typefaces. Live canine models served as the muses for the oil paintings that capture each dog's unique personality, and stand boldly out from stark white backgrounds. All in all, this is one sweet doggy treat. Pair with TEN DOGS IN A WINDOW by Claire Masurel, illustrated by Pamela Paparone (NorthSouth) for a storytime that will have listeners picking their favorites from the litter. (5 and up)

Also of interest
Ummmm, you're kind of cheating if you read the above book and don't also check out the original charming canine confessional, LITTLE DOG POEMS by Kristine O'Connell George, illustrated by June Otani (Clarion). Did you know that this author also has one of the best poetry websites around?

Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to support your local bookseller.

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