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5.0 1
by Andrew Clements, Tim Bowers

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A tale in haiku
of one adorable dog.
Let’s find him a home.

Wandering through the neighborhood in the early-morning hours, a stray pooch follows his nose to a back-porch door. After a bath and some table scraps from Mom, the dog meets three lovable kids. It’s all wags and wiggles until Dad has to decide if this stray pup can become the new

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A tale in haiku
of one adorable dog.
Let’s find him a home.

Wandering through the neighborhood in the early-morning hours, a stray pooch follows his nose to a back-porch door. After a bath and some table scraps from Mom, the dog meets three lovable kids. It’s all wags and wiggles until Dad has to decide if this stray pup can become the new family pet. Has Mooch finally found a home? Told entirely in haiku by master storyteller Andrew Clements, this delightful book is a clever fusion of poetry and puppy dog.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Clements (Lunch Money)cleverly combines haiku and an endearing canine protagonist in this jaunty tale, written primarily from the pooch's perspective. After the friendly creature arrives on the doorstep of a family's home, the mother lets him inside and tends to his needs: "First food, then a bath./ The food was a lot more fun./ Still, it all feels good." As the animal happily accepts scraps at the breakfast table, an important topic surfaces: "A dog needs a name./ Rags? Mutt? Pooch? No, not Rover./ Mooch. Yes, Mooch! Perfect." The pup is bored when the kids go off to school and their mother is outdoors gardening, but Mooch soon finds a solution ("Chew on dirty socks./ Roll around in week-old trash./ Ahhh... that's much better"). Sitting in on a family meeting, Mooch mistakenly overhears the word "pound" and is fretful when the father drives off in his car. But the new pet is overjoyed when the man returns with propitious purchases: "A new doggy bed!/ Food, a bowl, a squeaky toy!/ Mooch has found his home." Never forced, Clements's nimbly crafted verse flows freely and delivers ample humor. Bowers's animated oil paintings comically capture the playful pup's antics, revealing Mooch in the tub, eagerly shaking water and suds all over the mother; smiling while riding in the car, his head stuck out the window; and half submerged in the overturned garbage can. A spirited demonstration of the versatility-and fun-of haiku. Ages 4-8. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
In a note Clements explains the challenge of writing a haiku, in seventeen syllables, 5/7/5. Within the limits of this "small container" format, which he compares to a picture book, he manages to tell the tale of a dog finding a home vividly and neatly. The appealing stray we meet on the jacket/cover is taken in, bathed, loved, and named Mooch by a family. He makes friends, enjoys a car ride, makes a mess in the house, and waits anxiously as the family seems to ponder his fate. When the dad returns with a dog bed, food, a bowl, and a toy, everyone seems as happy as the dog is that he has found a home at last. Bowers's oil paints not only supply the expected house and garden but with greater passion offer an adorable, hairy little Mooch just loaded with personality. Even his mischief is easily forgiven. Sitting in his new bed with his new red collar, he gives us a look that assures us that he will soon have the family trained.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4
A stray dog's first day in a family's home is more or less a test of whether he'll get to stay. Of course, the innocent creature lives entirely in the moment, and the human perspective doesn't come into play until the end. Clements shadows the pup closely and maintains a canine's view of everything-food, loving pals, bath time, sunshine, shade, the lure of garbage and household objects to chew, the loneliness of the school bus leaving, and the joy when it returns. The story is familiar but still entirely fresh due to Clements's original presentation. He tells the entire tale in haiku, a remarkably effective vehicle for delivering such a sweet and simple story. The family's deliberation over what to call the dog is captured perfectly with the form's structure: "A dog needs a name./Rags? Mutt? Pooch? No, not Rover./Mooch. Yes. Mooch! Perfect." While each haiku is typically spare, Bowers's vibrant illustrations are busy and bright, filling the pages with the same unbounded energy as the lovable pooch. This joyful tale is guaranteed to evoke storytime cheers.
—Gloria KosterCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Sixteen haiku serve as the text for this heartwarming story of a wandering dog who finds a new home with a kind family. The scruffy, gray dog with beady eyes and an oversized nose appears through the window of the back door on the front cover, and who could resist that engaging face? He's invited into the house and then fed, bathed and given the name of Mooch. In succeeding spreads, Mooch begins to feel at home but gets into typical trouble when left alone, chewing on socks and getting into the trash. The new owners provide Mooch with his own bed and toys, finally accepting him as part of their family. The author succeeds in packing quite a bit of plot into the haiku, with additional story elements added through the illustrations of a busy household with three children. The illustrations create a real sense of drama as the dog's fate is considered, and Mooch stands out in every illustration with his appealing facial expressions and poses. A short author's note defines haiku and offers some additional samples. (Picture book/poetry. 4-6)

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Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
AD210L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at

Tim Bowers began his illustrating career working as an artist for Hallmark Cards. In 1986 he illustrated his first picture book, The Toy Circus by Jan Wahl. Since then, he has illustrated more than twenty books for children. Mr. Bowers lives with his family in Granville, Ohio.

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Dogku 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cute. Concise. Clever. Pictures are a joy to see. Good dog, good haiku.