Thursday, December 8, 2011




Summary: This collection of fourteen poems about man’s best friend is delightfully charming. From the adorable pug on the front cover to the following pets and their poems, the book holds great appeal for dog lovers. Lucy, a small, shy puppy sticks close to her owner in one of the poems. Another features, Pocket, a tiny dog with a huge heart. The illustrations are simple and have a narrow color palette with large sections of white space to allow for the focus to be on the rise and fall of the words in the poems.

Citation: MacLachlan, P. (2006). Once I ate a pie. Scranton, PA: Harpercollins

Childrens Books.

Impression: I have a dog of my own and this book is certainly catering to its audience. The pictures will appeal to young readers but the poetry needs an older audience to be effective. I enjoyed how most of the poems are written in first “person,” from the dog’s point of view.


Constantinides, C. (2006, May). [Book review of Once I ate a pie, by P. MacLachlan]. School Library 

            Journal, 114. Available from  School Library Journal website:

Free-verse poems about 14 individual dogs sprawl across oversize spreads accompanied by large oil illustrations. The poems and paintings together delightfully capture each distinct personality in few words and with broad strokes of the brush. The fonts change often and reflect the poet's words-rising and falling, sometimes in bold type, growing larger and smaller and dancing over the pages. The format allows for plenty of white space, emphasizing the postures and personalities of the pups and helping the playful fonts to stand out. The overall result is an entertaining visit with some very appealing canines, and a book that perhaps could serve as an inspiration in the classroom for young poets trying to describe their own pets. One wishes that the breeds were listed somewhere, but all in all, this title is still a real treat.

Uses: This book doesn’t really lend itself well to a story time because it is not a story book. I would use this rather in a poetry program and then have the children write a poem of their own about a favorite pet. They could also illustrate their poem with a drawing of their pet, real or imagined.

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