Love That Dog

Love That Dog
Author: Sharon Creech
Lexile® measure: 1010L
DRA: 50
Guided Reading: T

My Recommended Age Level: 8 and up

The other day, I decided to take my daughter to the library for some new books. Before leaving, I had compiled a short list of books I thought she might enjoy.  I did this, not because I am a great mother, but because she is the pickiest reader I have ever met, and she was in desperate need of something to read. 

Upon arriving at the library, I started gathering my "picks" and handing them to her.  I was so excited to see which she book she would choose, would it be the mystery, or the historical fiction?  I even threw in a graphic novel for good measure.  It didn't take her long to reject every book on my list and proclaim, again, that "she strongly dislikes reading with a passion".   So I tried a few other ideas and after about 25 rejects, I finally told her that "I didn't care what she got, she just needed to pick something!" 

We must have been louder than we thought, because we quickly got the librarian's attention and soon she and my daughter were discussing poetry.  Yes, you heard me right, poetry.  Now, I am the first to admit, that when it comes to poetry, I don't get it.  I try really hard to visualize and "deep-think", but there is something missing in my brain when it comes to iambic and pentameter.  Anyway, while they were discussing "pros", I found my self daydreaming about something completely unrelated...probably food as it was almost dinnertime.   It wasn't until I noticed my daughter copying down Emily Dickinson poetry on the little scraps of paper used for call numbers that I asked, "Who are you and why do you look so much like my child?"  

The librarian suggested Love That Dog.  It is a book written in free verse poetry.  The writer/narrator, Jack hates poetry and every time he tries to write it his brain feels empty. (I so can empathize...) Unfortunately, Jack's teacher won't stop giving the class poetry assignments and the more he writes, the more he has to say and the more he enjoys it. 

For anyone who loves poetry, this is a great little book.  As it is written in free-verse, there aren't many words to a page, so an early reader/struggling reader will have no problem finishing it.  There is nothing inappropriate in the book, but it does have a sad part.  Also, just the caution that if you don't "get" poetry, the book may seem boring. 

As for me, even though I don't often "get" poetry, I enjoyed Love That Dog and I will read the next book in the series, Hate that Cat.  As for my daughter, she loved the book and read it multiple times.  Unfortunately, she isn't ready to read the next book because she LOVES cats and doesn't want to read about anyone who might not feel the same way.

Happy Reading!

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