Children’s Chapter Book: The Poet’s Dog – Patricia MacLachlan

Patricia MacLachlan is an American master—the author of more books than I can count. (What I can count is that those books have over 9 million copies in print.)

Here’s what her editor has to say about her books in general: “The themes in Patty’s work remain constant – she has always written about loss and about being saved (both literally and metaphorically), and about love, and the power of words. She has always written about the special ways that children connect with adults. And there is always a dog somewhere in her stories.” J

The Poet’s Dog is magical realism about love, grief and healing. That she does all this for children is, as they say, like dancing backwards in heels.

Three starred reviews and a lovely bookseller endorsement:

As I started reading The Poet’s Dog, I was surprised to find that the book is largely narrated by the poet’s dog of the title. We’re told that ‘Dogs speak words but only poets and children hear’ before the story opens and this is foundational to the book. The dog, Teddy, tells of his rescue of a couple of children from a car stranded at the beginning of a terrible snowstorm. The reader learns simultaneously of the budding relationship between the kids and Teddy, and of the relationship between Teddy and his owner, a poet and teacher named Sylvan. As the story unfolds these two narratives intertwine seamlessly, almost like the poetry that much of this book (primarily in prose) resembles. In fact, this book, which contains very little actual poetry, would be an ingenious way to gently push a young reader towards an appreciation of poetry, in part because poets and children are the only ones who have the special ability to communicate with dogs, but also because of the subtle usage of poetry throughout. I found the entire journey through this little book to be delightful and the ending perfect. Highly recommended.”
—  Bobby Ray, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY

“Magical. A quiet, elegant, poignant story suffused with humor, heart, and goodness.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A spare, moving tale. Using simple words that even youngest readers will understand and enjoy, MacLachlan tackles subjects such as death and mourning with understated grace.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Readers will find their own jewel in this gem of a book.”
Booklist (starred review)

The Poet’s Dog (9780062292629) by Patricia MacLachlan, Patricia. $14.99 hardcover. 9/13/16 on sale.

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