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The Poet's Dog

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,615 ratings  ·  597 reviews
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 hi
ebook, 112 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  2,615 ratings  ·  597 reviews

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Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alternate title: How to Cry in 90 Pages or Less
This is a very moving book about loss, moving on and trust. Two children are lost in a snowstorm and found by a very special Irish Wolfhound. This is a short book and very moving, hard not to cry at the end. This could be a good book for an older child to read that struggled with longer books or one who had experienced a loss. This was happy and sad and ideal for dog lovers.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I forgot to mark this one as read because finishing it was not a tremendously memorable event. The cover is gorgeous but there is something about the story that felt a bit off to me. I found it somewhat confusing as a read aloud book because it jumped around to tell the story in an attempt to slowly reveal plot details. Good but not amazing.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it

This very brief book is narrated by Teddy, who is an Irish Wolfhound. He knows words because he was rescued by and lived in a cozy cabin in the woods with a poet named Sylvan. While Teddy can speak words, only poets and children can understand him. On a freezing, snowy night, Teddy comes across twelve year-old Nickel (Nicholas) and his eight year-old sister Flora shivering near an icy pond. They had been riding with their mother in a car, which got stuck in the snow. Their mother left them to
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a children’s book. I never care what age a book is for... I just care that it’s wonderful like this book is.

My mind is full of a dog and a poet. Jewels. A blizzard. Frosting. Yeats. Words and names. Grief. Hope. An Irish wolfhound. Charlotte’s Web. Creative soup. Snow.

I read the kindle version on sale today. I just came across it and thought, “Why not?” I will have to buy the tree book version of it so it can live in my library... adding its lovely voice to the voices of my other books.

Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Dogs speak words
But only poets
And children

I found this while browsing in the library and was instantly intrigued by the cover (and *dogs*). I was happy to discover it was written by the author of Sarah, Plain, and Tall , which third-grade me loved.

The Poet’s Dog is a gem of a book. Told from a dog’s point-of-view, it’s a tale love, death, and family. There are snowed-in nights in a cabin, a talking dog with a gentle soul, and poetry.

I would have loved this book as a kid and I love it
Melanie  Brinkman
Dogs speak words
But only poets and children
- P.M.

When a dog named Teddy finds them alone in a fierce winter storm, Nickel and Flora are brave but afraid. He brings them to a Poet's cabin full of light, food, and love. But where is the Poet?

A story of the wonder of words and winter. A tale of memories and moving on.

Gifted, lonely Teddy had been left alone in Sylvan's cabin. The melancholic pup's intuition and intellect proved beyond measure as he took care of the two children that came into
A charming little fable about children, lost during a snowstorm, who are taken in by a dog. Because, you see, children and poets can understand dogs when they speak, and so Teddy and Nickel and Flora wait out the storm, eating delicious things cooked by little Flora, and hearing stories from Teddy about his person, the poet Sylvan. A wonderful winter book!
May 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is quite...slight. I'm sure a certain type of person would find it profound and beautiful, but that person is emphatically not me.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, dogs
A moving story about life and death and what lives on. The Poet's Dog is Teddy, an Irish Wolfhound, and he is the thread that connects the past and the present. Through him, the love of his former owner, Sylvan, who gave him words, and taught him to save others, lives on. A slim and meditative book about love and caring for others during hardship.
Carrie Bresnehen
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sweet story about words and the value they have in our lives. Beautiful writing, reminding us of the beauty in a bond with a dog.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite friends was visiting last week and I was very excited because I was meeting her after many years. Time flew by after she arrived and before we knew we were at the airport, saying goodbye. I didn't want to go home after that as I felt it would be too depressing, and so to cheer myself up, I went to the bookshop instead. What is the point of going to the bookshop if we don't buy a book? 😁 This one, 'The Poet's Dog' by Patricia MacLachlan caught my eye first and I couldn't resis ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely story.
Laura Harrison
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I have been a fan of Patricia MacLachlan's for many, many years. I truly love her. Unfortunately, publishing this title as is does not do MacLachlan any favor. It is an extremely short volume. Generally that would not be much a problem. However, there is just too much of everything left out. Even a reader with the best imagination would have difficulty trying to flesh out the tale. Several pages were emotional and magical. The best a children's author could hope to achieve. In a way it only make ...more
A very quick read (a short story of 88 pages), MacLachlan's story is precise, warm as much as it is cold, yet uplifting. When two children find themselves alone in the forest after their family car veers off the snow-thick road, they are rescued by a talking dog (at least, he can be heard by children and poets). Whilst the storm rages, he becomes their guardian and it is during this time, the three of them learn about the power of words over lives and the nature of the human (and canine) spirit. ...more
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was stunning. I loved it. This book takes what you know a story like this to be like, but then flips it around and tells it to you from the perspective of a talking dog. I cried, but it was beautiful and moving. So many wonderful things I could say about this book.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another poignant book by Patricia MacLachlan. Pure pleasure to read with a sweetness of a talking dog, a snow storm and two beautiful children. ...more
Kylie Hart
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2017
What a beautiful little story. (*little-it's very short and I read the whole thing in about 20 minutes. That did not lessen my delight with it.) Is it a bit of magical realism? Whimsy? This is the kind of story that speaks to me. She says the dog can talk to the poet? OK, then I believe it. The dog is able to talk to the children and they can all survive in a little cabin? I'm on board. I think what I really liked about this was that the focus was fully on the dog-his love for and grief for his ...more
Four-and-a-half. Almost five. A beautiful story narrated by Teddy, a dog. Teddy lived with a poet-teacher in a cabin in the woods until the poet died. He taught Teddy that poets and children understand the language of dogs...and Teddy sees it play out with the poet's students...some can hear him and understand. Most cannot, because they are not poets.

After the poet's death, Teddy lives in the cabin, with the help of another poet who visits and keeps things running. But one night, during a huge s
Darlene Foster
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this wonderful book 6 stars. Lost children, a rescue dog, a poet, all ingredients of a fine story written by an accomplished author. I especially loved that the story is told from the dog´s point of view. Kids will gobble this book up and read it over and over. That is if they can get it away from the adults. like Patricia MacLachlan´s Sarah Plain and Tall, this book is timeless and will be read by many generations of readers.
C.J. Milbrandt
Two children stranded in a snowstorm are found by a dog, who is able to lead them to shelter. A gentle, wistful, lyrical short story, from the point of view of the dog. Mixing the present with flashbacks of life with the poet. A little sad, but everything comes full circle in a lovely way.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I usually am fond of this genre but this one didn't do for me, I couldn't connect.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, middle-grade
Spare, beautiful look into the themes of grief, rescue and the power of poetry.
Aug 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Let me preface my review by stating that as a middle school teacher, I usually read books through the dual lenses of what I think and what I think my readers will think. There are some books where what I think, what my readers think, and what younger readers think is similar. This book.... I can't tell yet.

It's about a talking dog who rescues two children from the harm of a storm. (There is a device for the talking dog ... the talking dog belonged to a poet who read out loud to him and learned t
Laura Harrison
I have to start this review by saying I love Patricia MacLachlan. I truly do. Publishing this title as is I don't think did the author any favors nor will win her a new audience. It is an inexplicably short book. There is generally nothing wrong with that but more of everything needed to be told. A reader can have the best imagination possible but there is just too much left out. There are a few incredibly beautiful, emotional pages. I ultimately walked away feeling "Is that it?" It seemed more ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
A beautiful book, studded with bits of wonderful poetry like raisins in an oatmeal cookie. Teddy is a poet's dog, which means that only poets and children can understand him. When his master, a great and famous poet, dies, Teddy leaves the house and will only stay in the shed, cared for occasionally by one of his master's former students. Until the day of the great snowstorm when he finds two children adrift in the snow, and bring them home to the house for nearly a week. And then everything cha ...more
Bon Tom
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Didn't quite get this one, have to admit. Maybe I'm a bit tarded so more words are needed to get things into my head. But enjoyed the atmosphere.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
A lovely story that says so much about love/friendship and kindness in so few words. And the main character and narrator is a dog. Perfect.
Liana Grace
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
Look, it’s a magical gem of a book narrated by a dog. Obviously I loved it.
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Patricia MacLachlan was born on the prairie, and to this day carries a small bag of prairie dirt with her wherever she goes to remind her of what she knew first. She is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb's Story; and Three Names, illustrated by Mike Wimmer. She lives in western Massach ...more

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