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Buy Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me

Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me is full of spirited wonder

Book blog Librarian’s Quest featured Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me as one of their top two ‘woof-tastic’ poetry collections! Their other choice was Bark in the Park!: Poems for Dog Lovers. Read their fab review below!

All you have to do is gaze upon the face of a dog and know there is much more to them than meets the eye.  Science tells us of their extra special sensory skills.  Increasingly we are learning more about how their minds work.  History tells us of their amazing feats.  But the looks they give us, their body language and even the way they sigh, tell us how their souls transcend known facts.

In 2019 two books focusing on dogs and poetry were released. On April 2, 2019 Thinker My Puppy Poet And Me (Sourcebooks, Jabberwocky) written by Eloise Greenfield with pictures by Ehsan Abdollahi was released. As previously stated, there is more to dogs, especially this dog, than science can tell us.  There is a secret this dog and his owner share.

Naming Me
They brought me from the neighbor’s house
and put me on the floor,
they talked about their love for me,
and I thought, “More! More! More!

I kept my eyes from opening,
I kept my voice on mute,
until I heard somebody say,
“Let’s name him something cute.”

That’s all this puppy needs to hear before he starts to talk.  His boy named Jace hears him and knows him to be a poet.  That’s why he is named Thinker.  In fifteen more poems Thinker and Jace poetically reveal their lives in this new family situation.

After his welcome party, Thinker and Jace, have a serious conversation about their ability to communicate with poems.  For Thinker without speaking in poems, everything else is a series of barks and woofs.  The twosome tackle life’s mysteries together but Thinker simply does not understand why he has to stay home when Jace goes to school.  (He does enjoy Kimmy, Jace’s little sister.)

Wherever they go, Thinker must remember to not recite poems.  One day, Thinker is told tomorrow is Pets’ Day at school.  He gets to go with Jace, but he must promise not to talk.  Do you think he can keep that promise?  What do you think will happen if the promise is broken?

These poems written by Eloise Greenfield can be read repeatedly and the spirited wonder of each one never fades.  Each one has a special cadence through word choices, rhyming, and poetic styles like free verse, haiku and a rousing rap.  Some are in the voice of Thinker and others have Jace speaking.  Readers will leave each reading believing in the truth of Thinker and his best friend, Jace, and wanting to meet them both.  Here is a poem by Thinker.

Birds Fly
Birds fly,
flap their wings,
and touch the sky.
Why can’t I just
wag my tail
and sail?

Rendered using handmade and hand-colored paper. . .to create the collage art all the images, beginning on the open and matching dust jacket and book case, convey the warm and happy affection between this boy and his dog and his family.  This display of bright colors with the white title text on the blue background greets readers and asks us to open this book.  To the left, on the back, Jace and Thinker are looking at us from behind a wall.  Their expressions convey they have a secret and we are about to be a party to it.

A gorgeous illustration is spread across the opening and closing endpapers.  On a pale blue sky canvas along the bottom are varying shades of pink blossoms with spots of yellow. Thinker on the left is running through them. Blossoms billow into the air as a lovely, vividly-hued swallow takes flight on the right.

Each visual spans a full-page or double-page.  We are usually close to the characters in the poems.  This gives a more intimate feel to each image.  The eyes on the people are beautiful, large and expressive.  The collage work of Ehsan Abdollahi is so exquisite we feel as though each scene will burst into life at any moment.

One of my many favorite illustrations is for the poem titled Two Poets Talking.  It is set in the neighborhood.  Three little girls are playing outside in the grass in front of shrubs and a large tree.  One of them is Kimmy.  On the right, closer to readers, Jace is seated on porch steps.  Thinker is nestled between his legs with his front paws on Jace’s chest.  The boy has his hands gently cupping Thinker’s head.

Bark in the Park!: Poems for Dog Lovers written by Avery Corman with pictures by Hyewon Yum and Thinker: My Puppy Poet And Me written by Eloise Greenfield with pictures by Ehsan Abdollahi are books that must be shared with readers one-on-one or aloud with a group.  They will appeal to a wide range of ages.  I highly recommend them for your professional and personal collections especially for National Poetry Month and Pet Month.  They are a splendid display of poetry, pets and pictorial portraits.  At the close of Thinker: My Puppy Poet And Me Eloise Greenfield has written a letter to readers.

  • Read a review by teacher and blogger Aidan Severs: Thinker will entertain and educate young readers!
  • Read a review by teacher and blogger Ed Finch: Thinker is another big win for Tiny Owl
  • Read a review by Carousel: Thinker is full of generous and lively poems!
  • ‘I fell in love with Thinker!’ An interview with Eloise Greenfield

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