Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Once I Ate a Pie

Once I Ate a Pie

Patricia MacLachlan , Emily MacLachlan Charest
Illustrator:  Katy Schneider 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 and up
HarperCollins, 2006   ISBN: 978-0060735319

The dogs that share our lives and our homes all have very different personalities. Even puppies in the same litter can have completely different natures, in the same way that human siblings do. In this delightful collection of free verse poems, the authors introduce readers to seventeen dogs, who tell their stories in their own delightful voices.

There is Mr. Beefy, a pug who thinks that he is “beautiful” even if he isn’t exactly “thin.” He is very honest with us, telling us that he likes to steal tubs of butter off the table when none of his humans and looking. Once he even stole and ate a whole pie.

Gus is the kind of dog who watches his people. He likes to know where they are at all times, and prefers it when they are in a group, “Like sheep.” When they wander off to do their own thing, Gus follows to find out if they are “all right,” and then herds them back to where they belong.

Lucy was a shelter dog and so she has a rather proprietary air about her. After being homeless and possession-less for a while, she now takes her new status in life very seriously. Lucy makes sure that we know that everything in her new home is hers. Even the people.

Pocket is a small dog who once was so tiny that she “used to sleep in a coat pocket.” Her coat, collar, dish, and water bowl are all tiny. She finds the whole situation rather confusing because she believes that she is “HUGE.”

Tillie and Maude are sisters, and though they look alike they have very little in common. Tillie is shy and well behaved, whereas her sister tends to be naughty and she gets into trouble. The only thing the sisters really have in common is their looks and the fact that they love one another.

Anyone who has shared their life with a canine will appreciate this wonderful collection of poems. There are touches of humor that will make readers smile, and sweet word images that will delight readers who have a soft spot for dogs.

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