Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Sharon Creech
Jack, a young student in Mrs. Stretchberry’s class, is sure that he doesn’t like poetry. He doesn’t understand any of the poems he reads in class, and he is convinced that poetry is only for girls. Through his teacher’s gentle persistence, Jack begins to see his own life experiences in the poems he reads— and develops his own identity as a poet. This gradual change culminates in a visit with one of Jack’s newfound-favorite poets: Walter Dean Myers.
Arranged diary-style and written in free verse, Love That Dog is another charming work from award-winning author Sharon Creech. Creech’s masterful writing perfectly captures the mind of a young student struggling to fall in love with poetry, and the verse style of the book is unique and engaging. Readers familiar with William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, and Walter Dean Myers will recognize allusions to the work of these poets; those unfamiliar with these poets will gain delightful exposure to their writing. Readers young and old who love this heartwarming story may also enjoy the companion novel Hate That Cat, also by Sharon Creech.