by Patricia MacLachlan, published 2016
“I’m a dog. I should tell you that right away. But I grew up with words. A poet named Sylvan found me at the shelter and took me home. He laid down a red rug for me by the fire…”
I took a single moment to wipe the tears from my eyes, before sitting down to review this poignant children’s book. As with all the other books from Patricia MacLachlan, she trusts the reader to travel with her into the heart and see the pain and joy that we live in. This children’s book is especially so. Its simplicity, its beauty, its poetic rhythm, and its utterly heartwarming ending, make it a treasure. It is small, easily read in one sitting by a third or fourth grade reader, or perhaps a read-aloud to a first grader. I cannot imagine any child not loving this small and timeless children’s book.
I am also always amazed that MacLachlan can continue to turn out a masterpiece with each new children’s book she offers. I always think perhaps she has no more to write, and then along comes something new. This particular story feels so much as if she just breathed it into existence. It has a quality of unreality, since the dog speaks with the children, and yet, it is so utterly real that you suspend any critical thinking.
Nothing more to say except do read this new book from MacLachlan. Recommended for ages 7 to 10.