Love That Dog by Sharon Creech was the first novel in verse I ever read. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know what novels in verse were when I read it many years ago. I went back and read it again because I also wanted to read Hate that Cat, which is the follow up novel to Love That Dog. I figured the story would make more sense if I went back and reread the first book.
In Love That Dog, Jack’s class is reading and writing poetry. Jack thinks he can’t write poems because he is a boy and he’s not good at writing poetry. He can’t even make sense of the poems his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, is making his class read! As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The more Jack practices reading and writing poetry, the better he gets at it and he actually starts to like it! Jack becomes a fan of the author, Walter Dean Myers, who visits Jack’s class. Jack is inspired to continue writing poetry from Walter Dean Myers and his teacher encouraging him. I don’t usually give spoiler alerts to books but for this one I must: there is a sad part in the book. It made me very sad so I feel I must let readers know, you might feel teary eyed during a part of this book.
Hate That Cat continues Jack’s story. Jack is back for another year with Miss Stretchberry and his class is reading and writing poetry again. This time around, he is trying to avoid a mean cat in his neighborhood who he does not like! Jack learns about new poets in this book. He begins to write poems inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and a few other poets. Jack also learns a very valuable lesson about cats from that fat, black cat he hates so much.
If you are looking for a quick, easy, and GOOD read – these books are the right fit!