The Poet's Dog

The Poet's Dog

 
4.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
937   0
Write Review
The Poet's Dog
Age Range
6+
Release Date
September 13, 2016
ISBN
9780062292629
Buy This Book
      
From Newbery Medal winner Patricia MacLachlan comes a poignant story about two children, a poet, and a dog and how they help one another survive loss and recapture love.

Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children.

Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home—and they understand him. The children are afraid of the howling wind, but not of Teddy’s words. They follow him to a cabin in the woods, where the dog used to live with Sylvan . . . only now his owner is gone.


As they hole up in the cabin for shelter, Teddy is flooded with memories of Sylvan. What will Teddy do when his new friends go home? Can they help one another find what they have lost?

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Dogs and Snowstorms

Teddy is an Irish wolfhound who has been raised by Sylvan, a poet who worked in his cabin in the woods. Sylvan read to Teddy and talked to him constantly, so now Teddy can converse in human speech. In the middle of a huge snowstorm, Teddy finds two children, Nickel and Flora. He brings them to the cabin, and the three hole up in the warmth to wait for the storm to pass. While doing so, Teddy shares his story with the children, surprised that they can understand him. Eventually, Teddy is able to summon the help of Ellie, who was Sylvan's friend. She manages to get the children returned to their home, and since Sylvan has passed away, Teddy stays with this new family.

Good Points
Like all of MacLachlan's work, this is a spare but beautifully written book about the importance of family, reading, and connecting to others. Each chapter is headed by delicate black and white drawings of trees in the snow, which gives a nice atmospheric quality to the book and makes us appreciate the coziness of the cabin.

Narrated by Teddy, the story moves quickly and doesn't need too much more explanation of Teddy's ability to communicate other than the simple fact that he was brought up among words by someone who loved them dearly.

Teddy is grieving the loss of Sylvan, but connecting with the children eases his pain-- Nickel walks through the woods with his hand on Teddy's back in the way that Sylvan did, and Flora feeds and takes care of him. While basking in the children's presence, Teddy thinks back to the last days in Sylvan's life and remembers both the good and the bad things. As Teddy himself laments (although dogs cannot cry), it is a poignant time.

Adults will love this as a tissue-worthy read aloud to join the ranks of books such as DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane , Patterson's Bridge to Terebithia, and Wiles' Each Little Bird that Sings.
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Beautiful story of friendship and grief

Nickel and Flora think they are lost to a blizzard when Teddy saves them. Teddy is a dog who was raised by a poet, Sylvan. Sylvan told him poets and children can hear dogs speak, and when Teddy meets Nickel and Flora, he knows Sylvan was right. While the three find refuge in Teddy’s cabin where Sylvan used to live, they find friendship and comfort in unexpected places.

Though short in length, THE POET’S DOG by Patricia MacLachlan bursts with emotion and magical prose. Teddy, the dog, tells the story, beginning with his saving of Nickel and Flora, and with flashbacks to his time with his beloved companion, Sylvan. Teddy is filled with grief, heartache, and loneliness after losing Sylvan, and the flashbacks show how meaningful the bond between a poet and his dog can be. Though Nickel and Flora are both young, they understand the world in a way that is both vastly different than Teddy, who is a senior dog, and yet quite similar. The friendship that develops is heartwarming and sweet with poignant messages.

MacLachlan captures an atmosphere of loving warmth during a setting of a blizzard so intense it knocks the power out. The imagery of a cabin with no power in the middle of the woods could easily be very scary, but the author makes it seem like the most comforting shelter in the world with Teddy there and the three of them looking out for one another.

Teddy’s story proves that even in the harshest of winters, external ones and internal alike, friendship, comfort, and trust are all possible. THE POET’S DOG is a moving and short tale that readers won’t want to miss.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

After being scarred by an unimaginable lie, Erik commits...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life
"I'm here to take you to live with your...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
safe_image.jpeg
Twins raised far from the darkness are the key...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Chasing Mermaids
A HOT EX-BOYFRIEND, A DETERMINED SWIM STAR, AND A...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kiss Collector
Seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe is over relationships. Between getting cheated...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Disasters
Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Dungeons & Dragons: To Catch a Thief: An Endless Quest Book
Welcome to the Forgotten Realms Endless Quest books, where...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Mend A Story of Divorce
Sophia, the fourteen-year-old author and protagonist, tells the heart-wrenching story...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dungeons & Dragons: Into the Jungle: An Endless Quest Book
Welcome to the Forgotten Realms Endless Quest books, where you...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Dungeons & Dragons: Big Trouble: An Endless Quest Book
Welcome to the Forgotten Realms Endless Quest books, where you...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Clink A Story of Cyberbullying
Click is the heroic story of a young girl who...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stay Sweet
Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
On Blood Road (A Vietnam War Novel)
The last place on earth Taylor Sorenson wants to be...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Courageous
Aiden is the son of a fisherman on the south...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party is gaining strength and becoming more...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Dungeons & Dragons: Into the Jungle: An Endless Quest Book
 
3.7
"Consider this a sort of D&D primer for intro-level youth. Told in second-person present-tense, this fantasy is styled after..."
Dungeons & Dragons: Big Trouble: An Endless Quest Book
 
3.0
"Told in second-person present-tense, this fantasy is styled after the beloved choose-your-own-adventure books of yore. It also features a vast..."
Parasite Life
 
4.7
"Jane is stuck in a creepy old house with her invalid mother. She has no idea why her mother is..."
Hearts Unbroken
 
N/A
"There are a lot of entry-points to the storylines in Cynthia Leitich Smith's Hearts Unbroken. I recommend this book especially..."
With Malice
 
5.0
"I loved this book, it kept me thinking afterwards for days. "The truth is how you tell it," take that..."
IF I FIX YOU
 
5.0
"The book is more like a 4.5 but I am going to give it a 5 star read because the..."
Enchantée
 
4.0
"After the death of her parents to smallpox, Camille Durbonne struggles to get by with her younger sister Sofie. One..."
The Penderwicks at Last
 
5.0
"THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST is the last in the series of Jeanne Birdsall's books about the Penderwick family. In this..."
Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms)
 
5.0
""Ever the Hunted" is an incredible YA fantasy with a touch of romance. The story begins with Britta, starving and..."
Bud, Not Buddy
 
4.7
"Bud not Buddy is awesome! im in year 9 and im reading it in school for an assignment. On the..."
The Star-Touched Queen
 
3.3
"I enjoyed this rich world. I felt like I was there seeing the lure with my own eyes. I loved..."
Elixir (Covenant Series #3.5)
 
4.7
"This was so refreshing, to see a little snippet into the almost perfect Aiden's head, we get to see how..."
Stone Cold Touch (Dark Elements #2)
 
5.0
"This installment picks up just a few weeks after Roth has sacrificed himself at the end of White Hot Kiss...."
The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles Book 2)
 
5.0
"*I was lucky enough for NetGalley and Harlequin Teen to approve me for this ARC in exchange for an honest..."
Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms)
 
5.0
"Feedback I adored this book so much! There were so many parts of this book that I just loved...."
Ever the Brave (Clash of Kingdoms book 2)
 
4.3
"Feedback I was so excited to continue this series. There was so much that happened in book one which..."
Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel
 
4.0
""Dear Evan Hansen" is a sad but sweet YA contemporary that addresses anxiety and the power of a small lie...."
Welcome Home
 
5.0
"I have mixed feelings about anthologies. Anthologies are a great way to be introduced to new authors. However, in..."
HOW SHE DIED, HOW I LIVED
 
4.7
"What worked: Gripping tale that deals with survivor guilt after a horrific murder. This story is intense, but one I..."
The Tesla Legacy
 
5.0
"When Lucy discovers a hidden door in the Tesla Suite, she's surprised to discover an egg. Curiosity gets the better..."