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Cover image for Once I ate a pie
Once I ate a pie


1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Joanna Cotler Books, ©2006.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Puppy -- Mr. Beefy -- Gus -- Lucy -- Wupsi -- Darla -- Louis -- Sugar -- Three -- Needle nose -- Pocket -- Abby -- Tillie and Maude -- Luke.
Thirteen dogs tell their stories in simple poems.
Reading Level:


Call Number
J Lilac (MacLachlan)

On Order



A sweet and funny collection of poems by Patricia MacLachlan, the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Sarah, Plain and Tall.

It's a dog's life!

Every dog has a tail to wag . . . and a tale to tell. Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest asked a collection of canines to speak up--and so they do, in words, barks, and yips. Captured here are accounts of happy days filled with squeaky toys, good smells, plenty of naps, and the very important jobs they do for the people they love to love.

Author Notes

Patricia MacLachlan was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on March 3, 1938. She received a B.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1962 and taught English at a junior high school until 1979. She began writing picture books and novels at the age of thirty-five. Her works include The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt, Skylark, Caleb's Story, Grandfather's Dance, Three Names, All the Places to Love, Before You Came, Cat Talk, and Snowflakes Fall. She won the Golden Kite Award for Arthur, for the Very First Time and the 1986 Newbery Medal for Sarah, Plain and Tall.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-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.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

Every dog has a unique personality, as seen in these fourteen poems. There's the timid puppy who stays close to his owner; Lucy, adopted from a shelter, who claims everything is ""mine""; and Pocket, who's tiny but thinks he's huge. The paintings of these appealing dogs add to their charm. Some of the shaped lines of text, however, are distracting. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

An appealing cover image of a charming pug invites the reader into this ode to canine companions by the mother-and-daughter team. Fourteen short, non-rhyming poems introduce a variety of highly individualistic dogs, with the personality of each one captured in just a few revealing lines. The poems are written in first person with an innocent viewpoint appropriate to a dog's egocentric perspective on the world. Abby "borrows" bones, balls and slippers (and doesn't give them back); Mr. Beefy the pug steals butter (or even a cherry pie) from the table; and Lucy, adopted from a shelter, sleeps between her owners with her own pillow and teddy bear. Schneider's expressive paintings add to each dog's character, skillfully capturing distinctive breed characteristics, with expressive eyes and playful postures that indicate thorough knowledge of canine behavior. Thoughtful design elements include a trail of paw prints leading from the cover through the front matter into the text, varying type treatments and a mixture of illustration perspectives. (Poetry. 4-9) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-4. Dogs of all sizes and shapes take center stage in this picture book by the authors and illustrator whose first collaboration, Painting the Wind (2003), also displayed an affinity for the canines among us. Each spread features a dog (or two or three) and a succinct poem written from the canine perspective. Presented in a variety of fonts and type sizes that reinforce the meaning of the words, the poems offer odes to the various pleasures of life--sleeping in the sun and chasing balls--many of which aren't limited to dogs. One animal offers a tribute to his own needle-shaped nose: If something is closed, I open it. / If it is perfect, I tear it apart. / I love my work. / I love my nose. Dominated by multiple shades of brown and gray, the book's palette is not wildly colorful, but the paintings capture the individuality of each animal, as well as the mischief and movement young dog lovers find so irresistible. --Abby Nolan Copyright 2006 Booklist