Nearly 12 year-old Nickel and his younger sister Flora find themselves in the woods, in a snow storm, seeking help/shelter, after their car slides off the road and their mother sets off to find help, leaving them to stay put in the car. Fearful of the car being buried in the snow they set off, but to where? Lost and cold, they are discovered by a rather large gray dog who leads them to a cabin in the woods. And it is here that the story truly unfolds, for Teddy, the dog, lived here with a poet named Sylvan who had rescued HIM some years before. Alone now, Teddy awaits finding a new home, while Nickel and Flora wait out the storm so they can GET home.
The story is in the cabin and so sweetly told, for as MacLachlan says right up front, “Dogs speak words,/ But only poets and children/ Hear.” When the book first arrived as an advance copy I, of course, was drawn to the cover, with a dog, two kids, and a cabin in a snowy woods. It wasn’t until in the reading of this rather magical book that I discovered the dog was an Irish wolfhound! (Full disclosure here: I am owned by two of these wonderful hounds). It’s a story about love and loss, of friendship and goodness of heart. It will leave you smiling, as all books about dogs, poets and children should.
–Sue, Paulina Springs, Sisters, OR
Find this novel-in-verse in the chapter book or staff picks sections in independent bookstores like Paulina Springs.