I've been in to reading children's books these days. That's not a bad thing. I'm gonna be a teacher and want to find quality books to put on the shelves of children. The last review I did, Jane, The Fox, and Me, was the greatest book I have ever read, written for children. So there's some quality stuff out there.
Today I'm reviewing Love That Dog by Sharron Creech, another children's book. The set up of this book is a little different, and maybe hard to explain, but let me try. A boy, maybe 3rd grade, is writing this journal thing to his teacher, you know, like you did when you were in school. The teacher set the parameters that the entries need to be poetry. The entire story is just this boy's poems he's written to his teacher. You don't see teacher replies, you don't see conversation, but you can gather by the way the boy writes, what conversations are happening.
He starts out resisting. The first poem is a few words. "Boys don't write poetry, girls do."
But he's a good student and fulfills his assignments. The teacher reads poems to the kids and you see the boy, Jack, trying to imitate the poems the teacher shares, in the most beautiful way. You read a poem, questioning why so much depends upon a blue car, splattered with mud, speeding down the road so fast. But that's all he says. You can tell the teacher asks for more information but Jack isn't ready to share it.
So she shares more poetry and Jack writes more. Over the course of the book, the story of the blue car comes out. Jack witnessed his beloved dog be hit by a car, and the car sped on. Jack opens up more about this, finally sharing the entire story through poem of watching his dog stare at him and slowly close his eyes, never to open them again.
And you feel like crying. And maybe you do cry. Because the poem is so raw and so real, and you feel the emotion the boy feels when writing it.
But Jack copes. It was an event he didn't want to deal with before, but through writing poems, he came to accept what had happened, and to vent his emotions in an emotional way.
As a teacher, this book is incredibly touching. To be able to help a student in this way, to help them become confident in their writing, and eventually proud of their writing as Jack eventually does, and to help them process what may be going on in their life. To create a safe haven for children to come to. That's my goal.
It was a beautiful book. Another one I want to own. Another one I'll read a few times before returning to the library unwillingly. The entire book is very short. I was feeling very sick last night so Joseph went to the store to get me gingerale. I started and finished the book when he was gone.
These kinds of books may be short, and they may be written for children, but I think both this book, and Jane, The Fox, and Me, are some of the world's most important books, and adults could benefit from reading them.