Review Detail

Kids Fiction 2650
Beautiful story of friendship and grief
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
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.
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