Sunday, March 6, 2011

Verse Novel: "Love that Dog"


Creech, S. (2001). Love that dog. New York, NY: HarperCollins. ISBN: 0060292873


This is a wonderful story of a boy named Jack who is very reluctant to write poems in a journal for class. With much encouragement from his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, Jack begins to make poetic connections with real-life experiences. When Jack listens to Ms. Stretchberry read poems by Walter Dean Myers, his attempts at writing poetry take on new life and begin to shine in his journal. Especially touching was the experience Jack wrote about his dog named Sky. Creech is able to connect with readers by presenting Jack's story in short free-verse poetry which will keep the reader engaged during Jack's story and he or she might even shed a tear. The book's format is easy to follow and Jack's journal entries are dated which gives the reader a sense of timeline that is beneficial to the story. Creech concludes her book with a short segment featuring the poems Jack's teacher read throughout the story. A must have book for anyone who may have a reluctant reader and for boys in general.



Blue car, blue car, shining bright
in the darkness of the night:
who could see you speeding by
like a comet in the sky?

I could see you in the night,
blue car, blue car, shining bright.
I could see you speeding by
like a comet in the sky.

Introducing the poem:
I picked this poem because I really like how Jack took another poem's rhythm and proceeded to write the above excerpt in the "beat-beat-beating" rhythm. I would discuss and read poems of specfic rhythms and have children attempt to write or re-write one of their poems in a specific rhythm. This will be a great way to introduce how poetic rhythms can really add a new twist to the words of a poem.

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