Love That Dog
Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech
This is one of those books that uses so few words that you wonder, at the end, how the story got told. But it did get told, somehow, and you walk away feeling fulfilled, and wishing that all written projects could be as instantly gratifying.
Apart from the pleasing texture of this book–the thick pages have blue text on them; the bright-yellow cover, with its William Steig drawing, makes great use of white space–the voice in this story is clear. I laughed on the very first page: Jack, a student in Miss Stretchberry’s class, writes on September 13th, “I don’t want to/because boys/don’t write poetry./Girls do.”
Creech, a Newbery-award winning novelist, takes us quickly through Jack’s education in poetry before getting to the meat of this novel: Jack is asked to write a poem about a pet, but it comes to light that, although he had a pet, that pet is no longer.
Even slim volumes of poetry can tell great, evocative stories.
In my own work, I try to be as pithy as I can. This is one of those works to aspire to.